Women's risk of stroke after heart surgery is greater than men's
- By: Roger J G Stevens
Women are more likely to have a stroke after heart surgery than men according to the latest North American research published in Circulation (1999;100:642-7). This is the first paper to show that female sex is an independent risk factor for stroke after heart surgery. The team, headed by Dr Charles Hogue, associate professor of anaesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, studied early and delayed stroke rates in 2972 patients (1900 men and 1072 women aged 50 years and over) receiving coronary artery bypass graft or valve replacement surgery or both. Early strokes were defined as those that occurred immediately after surgery and delayed strokes as those occurring after an initial and uneventful neurological recovery from surgery.
Stroke occurred in 48 patients (1.6%), of which 17 (35% of strokes, or 0.6% of patients) occurred early after surgery and 31 (65% of strokes, or 1.0% of patients)