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Rate of stroke after TIA has decreased slightly over two decades

DANVILLE, Pa. – A Geisinger analysis of research published over the past 50 years confirms an elevated risk of stroke following a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke. 

A TIA is a temporary period of stroke-like symptoms that usually lasts a few minutes and doesn't cause permanent damage. Management of TIA has gained significant attention over the past 25 years after several studies indicated an increased risk of subsequent stroke.

The research team, which included physicians and scientists from Geisinger’s Neuroscience Institute, conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies on the risk of stroke after TIA published between 1971 and 2019. The analysis, published in JAMA Neurology, revealed the risk of post-TIA ischemic stroke as 2.4% within two days, 3.8% within seven days, 4.1% within 30 days, and 4.7% within 90 days.

“Patients recruited for studies prior to 1999 had a significantly higher rate of stroke after TIA than those in more recent studies, showing a slight decrease in overall post-TIA strokes after 1999. However, the rate of post-TIA stroke has not changed since 1999 despite advances in stroke care,” said Ramin Zand, M.D., a vascular neurologist and clinician-scientist at Geisinger and senior author of the study. “This finding shows that even though there have been many advances in the field of stroke, the risk of recurrence among TIA patients is still high.”

The Geisinger team is using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help bridge this care gap and provide more personalized care to patients who may be at risk for stroke. 

“We can utilize the rich longitudinal data from Geisinger’s electronic health records and our advances in AI to build decision support systems to assist physicians in extracting the most informative insights from a patient’s history and provide more personalized care to our patients,” said Vida Abedi, Ph.D., a scientist in the department of molecular and functional genomics at Geisinger and a co-author of the study.

To recognize the signs of a stroke, people should remember the acronym BE FAST:

  • Balance: Does the person show signs of sudden loss of balance?
  • Eyes: Are they experiencing sudden vision trouble like blurred, double or loss of vision?
  • Face: Does the person’s face look uneven when they’re asked to smile?
  • Arms: Is there weakness in one or both arms?
  • Speech: Does the person have trouble speaking or seem confused?
  • Time: Call 9-1-1 if you notice any of these signs or symptoms.

Geisinger’s nationally recognized Acute Stroke Program includes 24/7 stroke care at all of our hospitals, two Comprehensive Stroke Centers designated by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, Primary Stroke Center hospitals, and research-proven care that helps people recover from stroke with fewer disabilities. To learn more, visit geisinger.org/stroke.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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For media inquiries:

Ashley Andyshak Hayes
Marketing Strategist
Marketing & Communications

570-271-8081
arandyshakhayes@geisinger.edu