There are concerns that public anxiety around Covid-19 discourages patients from seeking medical help. The aim of this study was to see how lockdown due to the pandemic affected the number of admissions of acute stroke.
All patients discharged from Akershus University Hospital with a diagnosis of transient ischemic attack (TIA) or acute stroke were identified by hospital chart review. January 3 to March 12 was defined as before, and March 13 to April 30 as during lockdown.
There were 21.8 admissions/week before and 15.0 admissions/week during the lockdown (p<0.01). Patients had on average higher NIHSS during the lockdown than before (5.9 vs. 4.2, p=0.041). In the multivariable logistic regression model for ischemic stroke (adjusted for sex, age, living alone and NIHSS≤5) there was an increased OR of 2.05 (95% CI 1.10-3.83, p=0.024) for not reaching hospital within 4.5 hours during the lockdown as compared to the period before the lockdown.
There was a significant reduction in number of admissions for stroke and TIAs during the lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic in Norway.
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