March 13, 2007 / 7:38 PM / 12 years ago

Obesity reduces odds of going home after stroke

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Obese individuals who suffer a stroke are significantly less likely to be discharged home and tend to stay in the hospital longer than lean individuals who suffer a stroke, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have observed.

Obesity has been shown to be an independent risk factor for stroke, but its effect on the outcome after a stroke has not been well studied. Against this backdrop, Tannaz Razinia and colleagues examined the association between body weight and discharge destination for patients hospitalized for a stroke.

Data from 451 patients admitted to a university hospital stroke service were included in the analysis. Twenty-eight percent of study subjects were men and the average age of the patients was 65 years.

Razinia and colleagues found that obese stroke sufferers were significantly less likely to be discharged home than their lean counterparts (26 percent vs. 45 percent).

In addition, a trend toward longer hospital stays was seen in obese relative to lean subjects. Obese subjects required about 6.3 days in the hospital compared with 5.2 days for lean subjects.

“Our study provides further impetus for identifying and appropriately treating obese individuals at risk for first and recurrent stroke,” the authors conclude.

Future studies, they add, are required to confirm these results and to identify reasons for the differences noted.

SOURCE: Archives of Neurology, March 2007.

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