Common infections are being linked to stroke risk in kids

As stroke continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the U.S, Lipitor users are always trying to find the latest tactics to ward off potential symptoms.

As stroke continues to be one of the leading causes of death in the U.S, Lipitor users are always trying to find the latest tactics to ward off potential symptoms. There are a number of generally known guidelines people can take to help reduce the likelihood of stroke in their lives, including lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels and frequent dieting and exercise. However, common health ailments, such as the flu or cold, are now being linked to a potential stroke risk for children.

Researchers from the University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital collaborated on a study that examined whether colds and other minor infections may temporarily raise the risk of stroke in children. Strokes in children overall are relatively rare phenomenon, affecting an estimated five out of 100,000 kids per year, but the researchers hoped that their findings would lead toward prevention of future pediatric stroke incidents.

The doctors reviewed a database of 2.5 million children and identified 102 subjects who had experienced ischemic stroke, which is when obstruction occurs within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. After comparing the medical records of 306 children in the database who did not suffer a stroke, the kids who endured a stroke were reviewed for minor infections up to two years before these events occurred.

After analyzing the medical history of both groups of children, the researchers discovered that 10 of the 102 children who suffered a stroke visited a doctor for a minor infection treatment, while just two of the 306 control participants were treated for illness during the same time period. This meant that the kids who were victims of stroke were 12 times more likely to have had an infection within three days prior to their attack than the children without strokes.

Dr. Heather Fullerton, a medical director at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital and lead author of the study, suggested that a similar correlation between common illnesses and stroke has been noted before with adults, and that the best course of action is implementing proper cleanliness procedures into our daily lives.

"These findings suggest that infection has a powerful but short-lived effect on stroke risk," Fullerton said in a statement. "We've seen this increase in stroke risk from infection in adults, but until now, an association has not been studied in children. It's important the public does the things we can to prevent infection, like vaccinations, good hand washing and covering your mouth when you sneeze in order to protect all children, but it's especially important to help prevent stroke in someone who is otherwise predisposed."

Eliminating stroke risk
According to the National Stroke Association, up to 80 percent of all stroke attacks can be prevented. One of the easiest ways to vastly lower your risk for stroke is through proper dieting and exercise. Having excess weight strains the circulatory system, making it harder to properly deliver blood to your brain. Maintaining a diet low in calories, salt, saturated and trans fats, and cholesterol is the best means of preventative action, as well as exercising five times a week. Some of the proper nutrition guidelines suggested by the American Stroke Association include:

  • Consuming whole-grain and high-fiber foods
  • Eating fish at least twice a week
  • Selecting low-fat dairy products
  • Avoiding salt or switching to salt substitutes when preparing food
  • Choosing lean meats and poultry as your protein
  • A diet rich in fruits and vegetables

Lipitor is another great way to lower your chances of stroke, so ask your doctor if a prescription could improve your overall well-being.