Low Prevalence of Stroke in Patients With COVID-19

March 4, 2021
A review of nearly 28,000 emergency department records shows less than 2% of patients diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) suffered an ischaemic stroke, but those who did had an increased risk of requiring long-term care after hospital discharge. The findings are published in the journal Stroke. Adnan I. Qureshi, MD, University of Missouri Institute for Data Science and Informatics, Columbia, Missouri, and colleagues found that, among 8,163 patients with COVID-19, 103 (1.3%) developed ischaemic stroke, compared with 199 (1.0%) of 19,513 patients who didn’t have COVID-19. “Patients with COVID-19 who developed acute ischaemic stroke were older, more likely to be black, and had a higher frequency of cardiovascular risk factors,” said Dr. Qureshi, MD. The mean age of patients with COVID-19 who experienced a stroke was 68.8 years compared with 54.4 years for those who did not experience a stroke. Among those with COVID-19 and stroke, 45% were Black, 36% were white, and 6% were Hispanic. These patients also tended to have higher rates of hypertension (84%), triglycerides, (75%) and diabetes (56%). “We also found that patients with COVID-19 with stroke had a significantly higher rate of discharge to a destination other than home compared to stroke patients without COVID-19,” said Dr. Qureshi. “Patients with COVID-19 tend to have multisystem involvement and elevated markers of inflammation, which have been shown to increase the rate of death or disability.” He noted that the findings are somewhat different from earlier studies that suggested patients with COVID-19 who developed stroke were younger and did not have pre-existing cardiovascular risk factors. “Even if COVID-19 was a predisposing factor, the risk was mainly seen in those who were already at risk for stroke due to other cardiovascular risk factors,” said Dr. Qureshi. Reference: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.031786 SOURCE: University of Missouri-Columbia