FUTURE study (young stroke)

Young stroke can have devastating consequences with respect to quality of life, the ability to work, plan or run a family, and participate in social life. Better insight into risk factors and the long-term prognosis is extremely important, especially in young stroke patients with a life expectancy of decades. To date, detailed information on risk factors and the long-term prognosis in young stroke patients, and more specific risk of mortality or recurrent vascular events, remains scarce. Methods/Design: The FUTURE study is a prospective cohort study on risk factors and prognosis of young ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke among 1006 patients, aged 18-50 years, included in our study database between 1-1-1980 and 1-11-2010.

Follow-up visits at our research centre take place from the end of 2009 until the end of 2011. Control subjects will be recruited among the patients' spouses, relatives or social environment. Information on mortality and incident vascular events will be retrieved via structured questionnaires. In addition, participants are invited to the research centre to undergo an extensive sub study including MRI. Discussion: The FUTURE study has the potential to make an important contribution to increase the knowledge on risk factors and long-term prognosis in young stroke patients. Our study differs from previous studies by having a maximal follow-up of more than 30 years, including not only TIA and ischemic stroke but also hemorrhagic stroke, the addition of healthy controls and prospectively collect data during an extensive follow-up visit. Completion of the FUTURE study may provide better information for treating physicians and patients with respect to the prognosis of young stroke.