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Risk of Developing Stroke Higher in Lung Cancer Patients

stroke in lung cancer
A recent study published in the Journal “Stroke” has found that patients suffering from lung cancer are at a higher risk of developing stroke. The study, conducted by Taiwanese researchers, covered 52,089 patients suffering from lung cancer between 1999 and 2007 and 104,178 matched non cancer patients. The incidence of stroke in the participants was measured until 2008, and the association between lung cancer and the hazard of developing stroke was estimated. 
The researchers found that the incidence of stroke was 1.5 times higher in participants who were suffering from lung cancer compared to the non cancer group. Out of every 1000 lung cancer patients, 26 went on to develop a stroke. Compared to this, only 17 participants per 1000 non cancer individuals developed stroke subsequently. The incidence of stroke was the highest in the first three months following the diagnosis of lung cancer in men, and in the first four to six months in women. After one year in men and two years in women, the risk of developing stroke was similar to that of the non cancer group.
Another interesting finding of the study was that the lung cancer patients were more likely to suffer from a hemorrhagic stroke as compared to an ischemic stroke in the general population. This may be due to the fact that both excessive bleeding as well as blood clots can result in the presence of lung tumor and as a side effect of the chemotherapy. Adenocarcinoma of lung is especially associated with the formation of blood clots.
According to Dr. Fung-Chang Sung of the China Medical University, the senior author of the study, the researchers did not focus on lifestyle issues like smoking, drinking or diet, which could influence the risk of developing stroke. However, it has been seen that most of the cases of lung cancer develop in patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and pulmonary diseases. And these lifestyle diseases can be associated, in turn, to smoking. Almost 90% of lung cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking, according to the American Lung Association, whereas one out of every 18 deaths in the U.S. is due to stroke, as per a report by the American Heart Association. 
Wednesday, October 8, 2014