Cerebrovascular disease is associated with an increased disease severity in patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

A pooled analysis of published literature

Gaurav Aggarwal, Giuseppe Lippi, Brandon Michael Henry


Introduction: There is an urgent need to identify patients at high risk during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Whether a history of stroke is associated with increased severity of disease or mortality is unknown.

Method: We pooled studies from published literature to assess the association of a history of stroke with outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

Results: A pooled analysis of 4 studies showed a ∼2.5-fold increase in odds of severe COVID-19. While a trend was observed, there was no statistically significant association of stroke with mortality in patients with COVID-19 infection.

Discussion: Our findings are limited by a small number of studies and sample size.

Conclusion: There is a ∼2.5-fold increase in odds of severe COVID-19 illness with a history of cerebrovascular disease.

Keywords: COVID-19; Cerebrovascular disease; Coronavirus.

International Journal of Stroke 2020, Vol. 15(4) 385–389
© 2020 World Stroke Organization
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DOI: 10.1177/1747493020921664