Thursday, 4th March 2021While initial reports suggested a significant risk of stroke in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, a new study shows a low risk of stroke in patients hospitalized with the disease. Notably, the majority of afflicted patients had existing risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
These findings provide more clarity about the role COVID-19 plays in causing stroke in a diverse population of the US. The study paper was published in the journal Stroke from Penn Medicine.
"While there was an initial concern for a high number of strokes related to COVID-19, that has not been borne out. Importantly, while the risk for stroke in COVID-19 patients is low, it`s mostly tied to pre-existing conditions - so physicians who do see stroke in hospitalized COVID-19 patients must understand the virus is not the only factor and it`s necessary to follow through with normal diagnostic testing," said Brett Cucchiara, MD, an associate professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and senior author of the paper."However, there are still many unknowns and we need to continue investigating the linkage between stroke and COVID-19, particularly considering the racial disparities surrounding the disease," added Cucchiara.