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Minor Respiratory Infections Linked to Transient Increase in Stroke Risk Among Kids — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
August 21, 2014

Minor Respiratory Infections Linked to Transient Increase in Stroke Risk Among Kids

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD

Patients may ask about a study suggesting that minor respiratory infections are associated with increased stroke risk in children. The retrospective analysis appears in Neurology.

Using data from a large California health network, researchers matched some 100 children (median age, 12) who'd had an arterial ischemic stroke to 300 controls. Medical visits for minor infection in the 2 years before stroke (or control date) were assessed.

After adjustment for stroke risk factors, medical visits for infections within 3 days before stroke were associated with a 12-fold increase in stroke risk; 80% of such visits were for respiratory infections. Medical visits beyond 3 days posed no increase in risk.

An editorialist concludes: "Despite these findings there is no reason to be alarmed if a child catches a simple cold, a point worth emphasizing to parents. Furthermore, without additional scientific evidence, these data should not lead physicians to treat all minor infections immediately with antibiotic or anti-inflammatory medications."

Reader Comments (2)

John GILBERT Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice

Clearly the implication of this research is that if your child has a cold, don't go and visit the doctor.

Sujan Swearingen M.D Physician, Radiology

There does not appear to be any valid clinical data to suggest such a correlation. The majority of respiratory illness in children are caused by viruses. However, there is no indication of which viral subtype is being investigated or associated. There is also no indication of which mediators would be attributable to the pathogenesis of TIA. I am taking into consideration that this is an early study and nothing is impossible but my experience with U.S. healthcare to date has time and time again shown Physicians in this country still do more harm than good and use biased data.

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