A new review of 28,000 emergency department records shows that less than 2% of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 suffered an ischemic stroke but those who did had an increased risk of requiring long-term care after hospital discharge.
For the study, researchers looked at nearly 28,000 emergency department records from 54 health care facilities. They found 103 patients (1.3%) developed ischemic stroke among 8,163 patients with COVID-19. Comparatively, 199 patients (1.0%) developed stroke among 19,513 patients who didn’t have the virus.
“Patients with COVID-19 who developed acute ischemic stroke were older, more likely to be Black, and had a higher frequency of cardiovascular risk factors,” says Adnan I. Qureshi, a professor of clinical neurology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and lead researcher of the paper in the journal Stroke.
The mean age of COVID-19 patients with stroke was 68.8 compared with 54.4 for those without. Among those with COVID-19 and stroke, 45% were Black, 36% were white, and 6% were Hispanic. They tended to have hypertension (84%), high fat content in the blood (75%), and diabetes (56%).
“We also found that COVID-19 patients with stroke had a significantly higher rate of discharge to a destination other than home compared to stroke patients without COVID-19,” Qureshi says. “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.”
The findings differ somewhat from earlier studies that suggested patients with COVID-19 who developed stroke were younger and without preexisting cardiovascular risk factors, Qureshi says.
“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.”
The National Institutes of health funded the work. The authors declare no conflicts of interest related to the study and the content does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Source: University of Missouri