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Strokes: Drawing Test 'May Predict Risks in Older Men'

from BBC News Online

A simple drawing test may help predict the risk of older men dying after a first stroke, a study in the journal BMJ Open suggests. Taken while healthy, the test involves drawing lines between numbers in ascending order as fast as possible.

Men who scored in the bottom third were about three times as likely to die after a stroke compared with those who were in the highest third. The study looked at 1,000 men between the ages of 67 and 75 over 14 years.

Of the 155 men who had a stroke, 22 died within a month and more than half within an average of two-and-a-half years. The researchers think that tests are able to pick up hidden damage to brain blood vessels when there are no other obvious signs or symptoms.

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