New Insights Emerge on the Link between Lupus and Stroke
New research is shedding light on stroke risk among people with lupus. Of the 4,451 people with lupus included in the study, 139 (3.1%) had experienced some type of stroke, and median (mid-point) age of stroke onset was 34 years old. Ischemic stroke, caused by a blocked artery in the brain, was the most common stroke type observed, accounting for more than half the cases included in the study.
Of those who experienced a stroke, 82.3% had active or probably active lupus before stroke onset, suggesting disease activity may be related to stroke risk, and many (28.8%) had lupus-related kidney damage. Kidney damage was particularly common in people who had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a specific type of stroke caused by bleeding around the brain. Researchers also observed a strong association between ischemic stroke and antiphospholipid syndrome, a blood disorder that commonly overlaps with lupus. Additionally, lifestyle-related risk factors, including high blood pressure, being overweight, and poor cholesterol/high triglycerides, were most commonly observed in those with a history of stroke.
Although recovery from stroke is possible – two-thirds of cases observed in this study experienced excellent recovery by the time of hospital discharge – the event can be life-threatening. The latest findings underscore the importance of preventing lupus flares and making overall healthy lifestyle choices to reduce risk. Learn about the dos and don’ts for living well with lupus.