A great finding to prevent stroke – TBI causes stroke

A systematic review of papers studying the risk of stroke following brain injury was published earlier this month (4 April 2021) in the International Journal of Stroke (read the full review HERE). The issue is of particular interest given that traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a global health problem, and it is important that its consequences are known in order to prevent further damage. More than 60 million people experience a TBI each year and the incidence is rising.

TBI has not been associated with the risk of stroke thus far. This review is the first study conducted to examine this potential association.

TBI causes stroke, regardless of its severity. 86% increased risk

It concluded that TBI is strongly associated with the risk of stroke, regardless of its severity. Thus, it reports that “[t]his systematic review is the first to explore the association between TBI and stroke risk. The meta-analysis found TBI patients have an 86% increased risk of stroke compared to non-TBI controls (HR 1.86; 95% CI 1.46–2.37). Stroke risk may be highest in the first four months post-TBI but remains significant five years post-TBI. TBI is associated with increased stroke risk regardless of TBI severity or subtype […] even if it is mild and patients experience a good recovery.”

From a preventive medicine perspective, despite great advances in the care and treatment of TBI patients, these findings are invaluable in the prevention of strokes, which have a high incidence in the world population. Our Observatory has published about the risks of certain sports with more incidence to suffer TBI, one of them is football and the precaution of several associations to forbid use the head in youth and children teams. With these findings appears to be that more safety measures are needed.