HealthDay News — Pediatric stroke risk is affected by minor infections in the short-term, according to a study published in Neurology.

“Minor infections appear to have a strong but short-lived effect on pediatric stroke risk, while cumulative burden of infection had no effect,” explained Nancy K. Hills, PhD, of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues.

Patient data from children diagnosed with arterial ischemic stroke (n=102) and age-matched controls (n=306) were identified from a large integrated health care plan from 1993 to 2007. All medical visits for minor infection within the two years prior to arterial ischemic stroke (AIS) or index date for pairwise age-matched controls were abstracted. Severe infections such as sepsis and meningitis were excluded.

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The strongest association between infection and AIS was seen for infectious visits no more than three days prior to stroke (odds ratio, 12.1; P=0.002), after adjusting for known pediatric stroke risk factors. Most cases of infection (80%) were respiratory infections.

For all time periods of four or more days prior to the stroke, cases tended to have more infectious visits. AIS risk was not increased with a greater cumulative number of infectious visits over two years.

“The transient effect of infection in children may suggest a greater role for a prothrombotic mechanism,” wrote the investigators.


  1. Hills N et al. Neurology. 2014; doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000752