Alcohol, flu may be linked to stroke risk spike

October 26, 2010

The findings in the journal Stroke do not prove alcohol and infections are triggers. But the review shows that people who had the equivalent of three-to-four drinks had a near tripling in the risk of stroke over 24 hours.

Catching a cold or flu was linked with a two-to-three fold increase in suffering a stroke over the next week or month.

In theory, researchers say, drinking could cause heart rhythm disturbances that dislodge a blood clot. Infections could also contribute to these disturbances or they may have inflammatory effects on the blood vessels.

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