Objective: To determine the 3-year outcome in 287 young adults (15 to 45 years old) consecutively admitted between 1992 and 1996 for an ischemic stroke.
Methods: Follow-up was obtained with clinical examinations or telephone interviews, and data were recorded about risk factors, associated disorders, causes of stroke, and current treatments. Functional outcomes were classified with the modified Rankin Scale (mRS). Endpoints were stroke recurrence, myocardial infarction, epileptic seizures, and death.
Results: After a mean follow-up of 3 years, no patient was lost to follow-up; 25.4% of the follow-up visits were performed by telephone interview. The authors found 1) an annual mortality rate of 4.5% during the first year and then of 1.6%; 2) an annual stroke recurrence rate of 1.4% during the first year and then of 1.0%; 3) a 0.2% annual rate of myocardial infarct; 4) epileptic seizures occurring in 6.6% of patients, during the first year in most patients; 5) independence (mRS = 0 to 2) in 94.0% of patients; 6) 4.2% of patients lost their job after stroke despite an mRS score of < or =1; 7) 7.0% of patients reported divorce; and 8) only 22.2% of smokers gave up smoking.
Conclusion: Although young patients who experience ischemic strokes have a low risk of stroke recurrence and myocardial infarction, some patients do not regain independence.