Skip to content

    Stroke Health Center

    Font Size

    Minor Strokes May Lead to Major Ones

    Study: Stroke or Heart Attack Often Follow Within 10 Years
    WebMD Health News

    June 16, 2005 -- Dutch researchers say minor strokes, or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), are often followed by other strokes or heart attacks within the next decade.

    That's all the more reason to improve prevention efforts in TIA survivors, say the researchers, who included Ale Agra, MD, of the neurology department at the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands.

    Agra's team studied more than 2,400 TIA patients for 10 years. They found that 60% of the patients had died and 54% had a least one heart attack or stroke.

    They show that during a 10-year period, a person with a history of a minor stroke has a 44% risk of having a stroke or heart attack. The results appear in The Lancet.

    They also show that less than half (48%) survived 10 years without having a stroke or a heart attack.

    When Stroke Strikes

    Every 45 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke. Every three minutes, someone dies of a stroke. That's about 700,000 strokes and nearly 163,000 deaths per year, says the American Stroke Association.

    Stroke is the No. 3 cause of U.S. deaths. If not fatal, stroke can be disabling. Immediate medical attention is a must, since some stroke medications have to be given in a short time frame.

    Warning signs listed by the American Stroke Association include:

    • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or leg, especially on one side of the body
    • Sudden confusion or trouble with speaking or understanding
    • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
    • Sudden dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, or trouble walking
    • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

    Stroke can happen when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain (ischemic -- the most common type) or when a blood vessel bursts (hemorrhagic) and prevents blood from reaching the brain.

    TIA Study

    In TIAs, clots are temporary and the symptoms often go away quickly. But make no mistake; they are not innocent events and deserve swift care. The symptoms are the same as those of a stroke, but are temporary.

    Today on WebMD

    brain illustration stroke
    Know these 5 signs.
    brain scans
    Test your stroke smarts.
    woman with migraine
    Is there a link?
    brain scan
    Get the facts.
    brain scans
    woman with migraine
    brain scan
    senior man stretching pre workout
    Floor level view of therapist helping stroke patie
    concerned woman
    Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow