New study: Urinary tract infections triple the risk of stroke for 30 days

New study: Urinary tract infections triple the risk of stroke for 30 days

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Increased risk of stroke from urinary tract infections?

Women in particular often develop painful urinary tract infections. As if the disease alone wasn't uncomfortable enough, there are other potentially life-threatening effects. According to a new study, urinary tract infections can triple the likelihood of a stroke.

A recent study by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York found that urinary tract infections were three times more likely to have an ischemic stroke within 30 days of onset. The results of the study were published in the American Heart Association's English-language journal “Stroke”.

What is a urinary tract infection?

Urinary tract infections occur when the urinary tract is contaminated by pathogens and bacteria. The infection can sometimes spread to the kidneys and bloodstream. This can have dangerous health effects. Symptoms include frequent urge to urinate, painful urination, and abdominal and abdominal pain. Women have a urinary tract infection up to 30 times more often than men because their urethra is shorter than that of a man. More than half of women have at least one urinary tract infection in their life, and a third of them experience three or more urinary tract infections each year.

What is an ischemic stroke

Ischemic strokes occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain. Ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke.

Stroke from infection?

The study cannot directly prove that infections actually trigger strokes. But the researchers report that the infection causes inflammation in the arteries and can contribute to blood clots. Several other infections have been found to increase the risk of stroke, including septicemia, abdominal, skin, and respiratory disorders.

More than 190,000 patient files were evaluated

For their study, the researchers examined more than 190,000 stroke patients in the state of New York from 2006 to 2013. They compared the patient files to see if the participants had any infections in the four months before their stroke. For all infections, the risk of stroke was increased within 30 days after the infection, the researchers report.

More research is needed

Healthcare providers should be aware that a stroke can be triggered by infection. Examining the last few weeks or months of a patient's life before a stroke can sometimes help determine the possible causes of the stroke if an infection has occurred during that time. The study shows that more needs to be done to understand why and how infections are associated with different types of strokes. In addition, the results can help figure out how to prevent these types of strokes.

How can strokes be prevented?

The results suggest that vaccination, antibiotic treatment, or intensive antithrombotic treatment can not only prevent infection, but also prevent stroke in high-risk individuals. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Solly Sebastian, Laura K. Stein, Mandip S. Dhamoon: Infection as a Stroke Trigger; Stroke (query: 28.06.2019), Stroke

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