According to researchers, a new study finds stroke victims who suffer from dementia are more than five times likely to die than stroke victims without dementia. Dementia is when a person suffers from declines in memory, cognitive function and the ability to perform daily living activities. Researchers from Madrid, Spain reviewed data on more than 250 stroke patients who were admitted to a hospital for treatment.
They looked at medical history, neurological evaluation, and completed surveys. They identified 50 patients with dementia before they had a stroke and 72 cases where dementia occurred within three months after a stroke. The patients were followed for two years.
This study showed patients who are diagnosed with dementia after a stroke have a more than eight-fold increase in risk of death within two years. When dementia was diagnosed before the stroke, the risk of death was twice as high as that for patients with no dementia. After the two-year follow up, 55 percent of stroke victims with dementia survived compared to 90 percent of patients without dementia.
Researchers report a mortal explanation for the poor survival rate among stroke victims with dementia is that these patients may not receive the same treatment as the other stroke survivors. The study showed patients with dementia were less likely to be treated with medications that have strict dosing guidelines. The lack of these medications could explain their increased risk of death.
Currently, stroke prevention focuses on patients without dementia, but researchers felt that doctors also need to focus on patients with dementia in order to improve their survival rate.