Diabetes, hyperglycaemia, and acute ischaemic stroke
Diabetes and ischaemic stroke often arise together. People with diabetes have more than double the risk of ischaemic stroke after correction for other risk factors, relative to individuals without diabetes. Multifactorial treatment of risk factors for stroke-in particular, lifestyle factors, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia-will prevent a substantial number of these disabling strokes. Hyperglycaemia occurs in 30-40% of patients with acute ischaemic stroke, also in individuals without a known history of diabetes. Admission hyperglycaemia is associated with poor functional outcome, possibly through aggravation of ischaemic damage by disturbing recanalisation and increasing reperfusion injury. Uncertainty surrounds the question of whether glucose-lowering treatment for early stroke can improve clinical outcome. Achievement of normoglycaemia in the early stage of stroke can be difficult, and the possibility of hypoglycaemia remains a concern. Phase 3 studies of glucose-lowering therapy in acute ischaemic stroke are underway.
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