Objectives: We investigated the clinical characteristics of patients with stroke recurrence in the first year after cardioembolic stroke, and determined the predictors associated with recurrence. Design: A prospective cohort study. Setting: Multicentre study at the Fukuoka prefecture in Japan. Participants: We enroled 2084 consecutive patients who were hospitalised in stroke centres within 7 days of onset from June 2007 to October 2009. The clinical characteristics of patients were assessed on admission, and the clinical course of all patients was followed for 1 year. Results: Of all patients, 425 (234 men, 76±11 years of age) had cardioembolic stroke and were included in this study. Fifty-one patients (12%) suffered a recurrence during the follow-up period. Age (HR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.06, p=0.014), and level of C reactive protein (HR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.02, p=0.018) on admission were significantly associated with recurrence in the univariate analyses. Male gender (HR 0.61, 95% CI 0.35 to 1.05, p=0.076), body mass index (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.01, p=0.093), hypertension (HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.33 to 1.06, p=0.079), diastolic blood pressure (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.97 to 1.00, p=0.087) and haematocrit (HR 0.95, 95% CI 0.91 to 1.00, p=0.052) were marginally significant in the univariate Cox analyses. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis showed that age (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.00 to 1. 06, p=0.031, per 1-year increase), and C reactive protein (HR 1.01, 95% CI 1.00 to 1.02, p=0.022, per 1 mg/L increase) were independent predictors of a recurrence in the first year after cardioembolic stroke. Conclusions: In patients with cardioembolic ischaemic stroke, age and C reactive protein are independent risk factors for recurrence in the first year after onset.
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