Scoring system could predict stroke in people hospitalized with COVID-19

A new scoring system based on a person’s medical data can help predict who is most at risk of having a stroke when hospitalized with COVID-19, new preliminary research shows.

The scoring system – which was as good at predicting stroke risk as computer models – found that people with four or more risk factors related to their medical history and condition at the time of hospital admission hospital were 10 times more likely to have a stroke than those with fewer risk factors. The findings, considered preliminary until a full paper is published in a peer-reviewed journal, are being presented this week at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference.

Identifying patients at higher stroke risk could help healthcare professionals “monitor them more closely and provide treatment more quickly,” said lead author Dr. Alexander E. Merkler. study, in a press release. He is an assistant professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College and an assistant assistant neurologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

“Future research could focus on specific treatments that might benefit people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk for stroke,” he said.

The scoring system was developed using the American Heart Association’s COVID-19 Registry, a national database that includes medical and demographic information about people hospitalized with COVID-19, their treatment, and risk factors. cardiovascular risk. As of December 7, the registry included more than 63,000 patient records from 170 registry sites.

Researchers analyzed data from 21,420 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 at 122 U.S. health centers for a full year beginning in March 2020. Overall, 1 in 65 adults hospitalized had a stroke. The average age of the patients was 61 years old.

They identified six factors that helped predict who was most at risk for stroke: a previous stroke; not have a fever; no history of lung disease; a high white blood cell count; high blood pressure; and high systolic blood pressure, which is the highest number in a blood pressure measurement that measures the force exerted by the heart with each beat.

“Of the six factors linked to an increased risk of stroke, one was ‘absence of history of lung disease’ and another was ‘absence of fever,'” Merkler said. “It seemed a bit surprising because patients with lung disease and those with high fever are at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19.”

Those who had at least four of the six factors were 10 times more likely to have a stroke than those who had fewer risk factors. They achieved the same results using an artificial intelligence-based computer model to predict patients’ stroke risk.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. As the pandemic continues, researchers say evidence is emerging that COVID-19 may increase stroke risk and poor outcomes.

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