Population based study of early risk of stroke after transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke: implications for public education and organisation of services

BMJ. 2004 Feb 7;328(7435):326. doi: 10.1136/bmj.37991.635266.44. Epub 2004 Jan 26.


Objective: To estimate the very early stroke risk after a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke and thereby inform the planning of effective stroke prevention services.

Design: Population based prospective cohort study of patients with TIA or stroke.

Setting: Nine general practices in Oxfordshire, England, from April 2002 to April 2003.

Participants: All patients who had a TIA (n = 87) or minor stroke (n = 87) during the study period and who presented to medical attention.

Main outcome measures: Risk of recurrent stroke at seven days, one month, and three months after TIAs and minor strokes.

Results: The estimated risk of recurrent stroke was 8.0% (95% confidence interval 2.3% to 13.7%) at seven days, 11.5% (4.8% to 18.2%) at one month, and 17.3% (9.3% to 25.3%) at three months after a TIA. The risks at these three time periods after a minor stroke were 11.5% (4.8% to 11.2%), 15.0% (7.5% to 22.5%), and 18.5% (10.3% to 26.7%).

Conclusions: The early risks of stroke after a TIA or minor stroke are much higher than commonly quoted. More research is needed to determine whether these risks can be reduced by more rapid instigation of preventive treatment.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / complications*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / etiology*