HealthDay News — Anemia may increase mortality risk for older stroke patients, according to research published online August 17 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Phyo Myint, MD, professor of medicine of old age at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, and colleagues examined data from 8,013 stroke patients, average age 77, hospitalized between 2003 and 2015 in the United Kingdom. In addition, the researchers reviewed 20 previous studies, which increased the total number of patients to 29,943.

The researchers found that 24.5% of the stroke patients were anemic. The condition was associated with a higher mortality risk at multiple time points for up to one year following either ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke. Elevated hemoglobin levels were also linked with poorer outcomes and a higher risk of death, mostly within the first month after stroke.

“Strong evidence suggests that patients with anemia have increased mortality with stroke,” the authors write. “Targeted interventions in this patient population may improve outcomes and require further evaluation.”

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