Does Ramadan fasting increase risk of stroke?

April 16th, 2008 - 11:58 am ICT by admin  

Washington, April 16 (IANS) A prolonged fast - such as the one kept by Muslims during the month of Ramadan - raises the risk of a rare type of stroke, according to a new study. The study looked at cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a rare type of stroke that most often affects young adults and children and is more common in women.

Over a billion Muslims fast worldwide during the month of Ramadan.

The study included all people with CVST strokes admitted to three hospitals in Isfahan, Iran, over a five-year period. Of the 162 people, 33 had strokes while fasting; 129 had strokes during the other months of the year.

The findings of the study were presented at the American Academy of Neurology in Chicago Tuesday.

The average number of strokes during Ramadan was 5.5, compared to two during the rest of the year. The average age and percentage of men versus women was the same in the two groups.

“These results need to be confirmed by other studies, but they should be looked at carefully,” said author of the study Mohammad Saadatnia of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences.

“Coexistence of usual risk factors, such as oral contraceptive and coagulopathic disorders, along with dehydration in patients while on prolonged fasting can be the reason for increased susceptibility to CVST.

“People and their physicians need to be aware of possible complications of prolonged fasting.”

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