ASA: Scoring System May Predict Stroke Risk in COVID-19 Inpatients

Score based on six clinical factors including no fever at time of admission, no history of pulmonary disease, high white blood cell count

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TUESDAY, Feb. 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A new scoring system helps predict the risk for stroke among adults hospitalized with COVID-19, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 9 to 11 in New Orleans.

Alexander E. Merkler, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medical College/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and colleagues used data from 21,420 adults hospitalized with COVID-19 at 122 U.S. health care centers between March 2020 and March 2021 as part of the American Heart Association COVID-19 Registry (e.g., age, race and ethnicity; other medical conditions; medications; and vital signs and lab values at admission) to develop a scoring system to predict the risk for stroke after COVID-19 infection.

The researchers identified six clinical factors that helped predict the risk for stroke, including (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 hospital admission. Registry patients with four or more of the clinical risk factors were more than 10 times as likely to have a stroke compared with those with fewer factors. Results from the scoring system were comparable to stroke risk determined by an artificial intelligence-based 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," Merkler said in a statement. "Future research could focus on specific treatments that may benefit people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk for stroke."

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