MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Rates of severe stroke and stroke in younger patients are higher for stroke patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection compared with the general population, according to a study published in the May issue of Stroke.

Shima Shahjouei, M.D., M.P.H., from the Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania, and colleagues examined features of consecutive acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebral venous or sinus thrombosis among 432 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients.

The researchers found that 74.8, 21.1, and 4.2 percent of the patients had acute ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebral venous or sinus thrombosis, respectively. Overall, 42.4 percent of patients were women, 24.1 percent were younger than 55 years, and 24.4 percent had no identifiable vascular risk factors. Of the patients with acute ischemic stroke, 44.5 percent had large vessel occlusion; according to the Trial of ORG 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment criteria, 10 percent had small artery occlusion. Countries with middle-to-high health expenditure versus those with lower health expenditure had a lower median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (8 versus 11) and a higher rate of mechanical thrombectomy (12.4 versus 2 percent). A total of 37.8 percent of the 380 patients with known interval onset of SARS-CoV-2 and stroke were asymptomatic for SARS-CoV-2 infection at the time of admission for stroke-related symptoms.

“Our initial data showed that the overall incidence of stroke was low among patients with COVID-19, and while that hasn’t changed, this new data shows that there are certain groups of patients — for example, younger patients — who are more affected,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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