News: COVID-19 patients seven times more likely to experience stroke than flu patients
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based on data from two New York City hospitals found that COVID-19 patients had a significantly higher risk of ischemic stroke than respiratory flu patients.
Of the nearly 2,000 COVID-19 patients who visited an emergency department or were hospitalized and took part in the study, 1.6% suffered a stroke. This rate is more than seven times higher than the stroke rate in a comparable group of flu patients.
Of the COVID-19 patients included in the study and 1,486 influenza patients, a total of 31 COVID-19 patients presented or developed acute ischemic stroke while hospitalized. Only three of the flu patients had acute ischemic stroke. After adjusting results for age, sex, and race, the likelihood of a stroke was more than seven times higher in the COVID-19 group than in the flu group.
Authors of the study note that although the overall rate of stroke in COVID-19 patients was low, it was still substantially higher than among patients with the flu. These results help support the notion that COVID-19 is more severe than influenza.