High Blood Glucose Worsens Stroke Outcome

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By: Jan Chait

Do high blood glucose levels lead to more severe strokes? Or does having a high blood glucose level mean that you had a more severe stroke? Researchers studying the puzzle say their results suggest the former.

In a prospective study of 63 subjects who had a stroke, researchers from Australia found that high blood glucose levels led to an increased risk of lactic acidosis – a build-up of lactic acid in the blood – which in turn led to higher levels of damage to the brain from a stroke. The correlation, they note, occurs regardless of baseline stroke severity, lesion size or diabetes status.

The researchers recommend further studies of how blood glucose control affects stroke outcomes.

-Annals of Neurology, July 2002

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