Don't Panic But Children's Colds Can Lead to Stroke

Yet one more thing to worry about.

Doctors are now finding that children's colds may lead to a risk of stroke.

According to newswise.com, a new study suggests that colds and other minor infections may temporarily increase stroke risk in children.

 But before you panic, doctors say, don't.

“While the study does show an increased risk, the overall risk of stroke among children is still extremely low,” said Lars Marquardt, MD, DPhil, of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, who wrote a corresponding editorial. “Minor infections are very common in children while strokes are thankfully very rare. Parents should not be alarmed whatsoever if a child catches a simple cold.”

The study found that the risk of stroke was increased only within a three-day time frame between doctors’ visits for signs of infection and stroke, when it studied children who had colds which led to  strokes. A total of 10 of the 102 children who had a stroke had a doctor visit for an infection within three days of the stroke, or 9.8 percent, while only two of the 306 control participants, or 0.7 percent, had an infection during the same time period. The children who had strokes were 12 times more likely to have had an infection within the previous three days than the children without strokes. The total number of infections over a two-year period was not associated with increased stroke risk.

“These findings suggest that infection has a strong but short-lived effect on stroke risk,” said study author Heather J. Fullerton, MD, MAS, with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. “We’ve seen this increase in stroke risk from infection in adults, but until now, an association has not been studied in children. It is possible that inflammatory conditions contribute more to the stroke risk in children, however, further research is needed to explore this possible association.”




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