Clinical Course and Mortality of Stroke Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Wuhan, China

Lijuan Zhang, Wenwu Sun, Yujun Wang, Xiaopin Wang, Yanli Liu, Su Zhao, Ding Long, Liangkai Chen, Li Yu


Background and Purpose: No studies have reported the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic on patients with preexisting stroke. We aim to study the clinical course of COVID-19 patients with preexisting stroke and to investigate death-related risk factors.

Methods: We consecutively included 651 adult inpatients with COVID-19 from the Central Hospital of Wuhan between January 2 and February 15, 2020. Data on the demography, comorbidities, clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, treatments, complications, and outcomes (ie, discharged or death) of the participants were extracted from electronic medical records and compared between patients with and without preexisting stroke. The association between risk factors and mortality was estimated using a Cox proportional hazards regression model for stroke patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Results: Of the 651 patients with COVID-19, 49 with preexisting stroke tended to be elderly, male, had more underlying comorbidities and greater severity of illness, prolonged length of hospital stay, and greater hospitalization expenses than those without preexisting stroke. Cox regression analysis indicated that the patients with stroke had a higher risk of developing critical pneumonia (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.01 [95% CI, 1.27-3.16]) and subsequent mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.73 [95% CI, 1.00-2.98]) than the patients without stroke. Among the 49 stroke patients, older age and higher score of Glasgow Coma Scale or Sequential Organ Failure Assessment were independent risk factors associated with in-hospital mortality.

Conclusions: Preexisting stroke patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 were readily predisposed to death, providing an important message to individuals and health care workers that preventive measures must be implemented to protect and reduce transmission in stroke patients in this COVID-19 crisis.

Keywords: comorbidities; coronavirus disease; demography; mortality; severe acute respiratory syndrome.

Stroke. 2020;51:2674–2682.
DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.120.030642
© 2020 American Heart Association, Inc.