A new study has found that women who suffer from a stroke tend to recover without disabilities if they take uric acid with anti-clotting medication.
The study, which came out in the July 9 issue of the American Heart Association’s journal “Stroke” and was quoted by several sources, showed that 42% of female stroke patients treated with clot busters and uric acid had little or no disability after 90 days compared with 29% who were treated with clot busters and a placebo.
The study also found that women had less dead tissue resulting from a lack of blood supply after receiving uric acid, but among men, there was essentially no difference between the uric acid treatment and the placebo.
Dr. Angel Chamorro, lead author and director of Barcelona’s Comprehensive Stroke Center of the Hospital Clinic Chamorro in Spain, collaborated with colleagues in re-analyzing data from a randomized double-blind trial of patients, consisting of 206 women and 205 men, who were admitted to various stroke centers in Spain.
According to Chamorro, women may benefit more because they typically have lower levels of uric acid. He explained that estrogen in women helped the kidneys excrete more uric acid from the blood.
Uric acid is produced when the body breaks down purines, or substances found naturally in the body and in certain foods such as animal organs, anchovies, mushrooms and some seafood.
In an ischemic stroke, the most common form of stroke, a clot lodges in an artery supplying oxygen to the brain. Once doctors remove the clot, oxygen is free to re-enter the brain, but it also releases substances called free radicals, which can damage surrounding tissue.
Uric acid, which the human body is capable of producing naturally, can cause kidney stones or gout, a painful form of arthritis. It has also been linked to various heart and vascular ailments, as well as diabetes. However, according to Chamorro, it is an anti-oxidant, and as such, can counteract the dangers posed by free radicals.
Chamorro also explained that more research was needed to confirm the findings of her sudy.
In 2014, the AHA reported that a total of 795,000 Americans were suffering from a new or recurrent stroke every year. It added that in the U.S., women who had suffered from strokes outnumbered the men by around 55,000, with 60% of stroke deaths occurring among women.