-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Up to 30 percent of stroke
patients develop delirium shortly after hospitalization and these
patients fare worse than those without delirium, a new study
Canadian researchers reviewed 10 studies that included more than
2,000 patients who were hospitalized after suffering either an
ischemic (caused by blood vessel blockage) or hemorrhagic
In most of the studies, 10 percent to 28 percent of the patients
experienced delirium, an acute state of confusion that includes
disorientation, attention deficit, altered and fluctuating mental
status, and sometimes hallucinations. In one study, 48 percent of
patients experienced delirium.
Compared to patients without delirium, those who experienced
delirium were 4.7 times more likely to die in the hospital or
within a year of hospitalization, three times more likely to be
discharged to a long-term care facility, and they stayed in the
hospital nine days longer.
In general, stroke patients who experience delirium are older,
have more medical problems and suffer more severe strokes, which
might explain why stroke patients with delirium do worse than
The study appears Jan. 19 in the journal
Delirium in stroke patients can be caused by other problems such
as medicines, infection, substance abuse, metabolic abnormalities,
and renal or heart failure.
Recognizing the underlying problems that cause delirium in
stroke patients might help improve their prognosis, study senior
author Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, director of the Stroke Outcomes
Research Center at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, said in a
journal news release.
The Royal Society of Psychiatrists in the U.K. has more about
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