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Scoring System Helps Predict Stroke Risk for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Feb 2022
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A new scoring system can help predict the risk of stroke among adults hospitalized with COVID-19 and is comparable to a computer-based risk estimator.

Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, NY, USA) developed the scoring system using information from the COVID-19 Registry of the American Heart Association (Dallas, TX, USA). The COVID-19 Registry is a nationwide collection of health data on COVID-19 treatment and cardiovascular disease risk factors for people hospitalized with COVID-19. The researchers examined registry data for about 21,420 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 at 122 health care centers in the US between March 2020 and 2021. The patients’ average age was 61, and 54% were men. More than one-third of participants were white adults, about one-quarter were Black adults and one-quarter were Hispanic adults; the racial or ethnic group for the remaining 10% of study participants was either Asian, unknown or not identified in the records.

Overall, one in 65 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 had a stroke. Registry patients with four or more of the clinical risk factors were more than 10 times as likely to have a stroke compared to those with fewer factors. Based on the health data from the registry, the researchers identified six clinical factors that helped predict the risk of stroke. These factors included: 1) history of stroke; 2) no fever at the time of hospital admission; 3) no history of pulmonary disease; 4) high white blood cell count; 5) history of high blood pressure; and 6) high systolic blood pressure at the time of hospital admission. To verify the accuracy of the scoring system, the results were compared to a computer method based on artificial intelligence. The clinical scoring system predicted the risk of stroke as accurately as the computer method.

“This clinical risk score may help professionals better understand which patients with COVID-19 are at increased risk for stroke, and, therefore, monitor them more closely and provide treatment more quickly,” said Alexander E. Merkler, M.D., M.S., lead study author and an assistant professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. “Future research could focus on specific treatments that may benefit people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk for stroke.”

Related Links:
Weill Cornell Medical College 
American Heart Association 

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