A recent study adds to mounting evidence that COVID patients are at increased risk for stroke.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 20,000 US adults hospitalized with COVID-19 between January and November 2020. The analysis found that their risk of stroke was higher than that of patients with other types of infections, among them the flu.
“These findings suggest that COVID-19 may increase the risk of stroke, although the exact mechanism by which this occurs is still unknown,” said lead author Dr. Saate Shakil, a cardiology fellow at the University of Washington.
The new study found that 1.4 percent of COVID patients had a stroke confirmed by diagnostic imaging.
Of these, 52.7 percent had an ischemic stroke (caused by a blockage in blood flow to the brain), 45.2 percent had a hemorrhagic or unspecified stroke, and 2.5 percent had a transient ischemic attack (also known as mini-ACV or AIT).
COVID patients who had a stroke were more likely to be male (64 percent) and older (with an average age of 65 years) than those without a stroke (with an average age of 61 years).