A condition known as stress hyperglycemia, sometimes called “stress diabetes,” can occur temporarily after a heart attack or stroke. Even in non-diabetic patients, blood glucose levels may spike during recovery. Such spikes are problematic: People diagnosed with acute stress hyperglycemia are more likely to die following a stroke or heart attack.
Now, we know they’re also at risk for a secondary stroke within several months after the first. In a study published Thursday in Stroke, a team of Chinese and U.S. researchers found that stroke patients who dealt with serious hyperglycemia were 1.5 times more likely to have a secondary stroke than those with minor or no hyperglycemia.
Knowing this risk of recurrence may eventually help doctors provide appropriate care for at-risk patients, said the study’s corresponding author Yilong Wang, M.D., who is a researcher and clinician with the Capital Medical University in Beijing, China. “But it cannot lead to a change in recommended standard procedures at this time,” Wang said.