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A huge international study strengthens the connection between corona and stroke in young people who have fallen ill

In the study, in which researchers from Israel, the USA, Canada, Australia, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates participated, blockages of large blood vessels were mainly found in the brains of the young subjects. The Israeli side was represented by the neurologist and researcher Prof. Ronan Leker, director of the stroke unit at the Hadassah Medical Center and the Hebrew University

The Corona epidemic. Image:
The Corona epidemic. Image:

Studies carried out recently tried to find the connection between corona morbidity and the risk of suffering from cerebrovascular events. A report by the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York at the beginning of the year on stroke cases of five young corona patients raised fears of an increase in the incidence of strokes even among young patients without vascular risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes or smoking. A new and extensive study recently published in the journal Stroke, in which the neurologist and researcher Prof. Ronan Leker from the Hadassah Medical Center and the Hebrew University took part, tried to examine in depth the relationship between the corona disease and stroke, and found a significant number of stroke cases among corona patients at young ages compared to cases Previous strokes in a similar population before the outbreak of the epidemic.

No fewer than 89 researchers from 136 different academic institutions around the world participated in the study - including from Iran, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. They conducted an observational study on patients who had acute ischemic stroke, intracranial bleeding, and cerebral venous thrombosis (the presence of a blood clot in the cerebral veins or in the dural venous sinuses, which drain the blood from the brain) among corona patients who were hospitalized and examined the severity of the stroke and the subtype of stroke . In addition, the researchers performed neuroimaging on those patients, and examined the differences between symptomatic and non-symptomatic patients after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 while having a stroke. In addition, the effect of morbidity in different geographical areas on the severity of the disease was examined.

Among 136 centers in 32 countries that participated in this study, 71 centers from 17 countries had at least one patient who suffered from corona and a stroke at the same time or immediately after recovery from corona. Of the 432 patients who were found to have a stroke, 323 (74.8%) had an ischemic stroke resulting from cerebral vascular occlusion, 91 (21.1%) from intracranial bleeding and 18 (4.2%) from cerebral venous thrombosis.

More young people have strokes

It appears that the age of the corona patients who had a stroke is low. "We did not limit ourselves to a certain age group during our research work, but we noticed that a significant percentage of the patients were under the age of 55, which is more than we usually see in cases of stroke," clarifies Prof. Leker this week. "The average age of corona patients who suffered a stroke was 68, while in the days without corona the average age of stroke patients in Israel was 80. This is a significant gap. This finding proved to us that today there are more young stroke patients due to corona infection, and that the average age to have a stroke during corona days is decreasing. In addition, it was found that 24% of the corona patients who suffered a stroke were under the age of 55 - a much higher percentage than the corresponding period without corona at these ages."

Another interesting phenomenon that was discovered was that most of the stroke cases were caused by damage to large blood vessels as opposed to small blood vessels in the brain, which is unusual because in the years when there was no corona the number of cases secondary to blockage of small blood vessels exceeds that resulting from blockage of large blood vessels. In addition, the incidence of ischemic stroke among young people without classic risk factors for stroke was much higher than expected, which confirmed the results of the previous study by Mount Sinai researchers on the high incidence of stroke in young people with corona.

Moreover, out of all the stroke patients, 183 (42.4%) patients were women and therefore, it is not a phenomenon that characterizes a particular gender. In countries where there is a high investment in health, higher rates of treatments using brain catheters were found in young patients with blockage of a large artery in the brain compared to poorer countries, so that more patients were saved from death secondary to stroke. In addition, 380 out of 432 patients in the study who are known to have suffered from the corona virus and a stroke at the same time were examined, and it was found that 144 (37.8%) of them were without symptoms (asymptomatic) of corona (no fever, cough, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.) and only a general examination She found out that the stroke patients admitted to the Corona hospital were infected with Corona. In other words, 72% of the corona patients who suffered a stroke also suffered from corona symptoms to varying degrees. 

"The study strengthens the connection between corona and stroke as a result of blockage of large blood vessels among young people suffering from corona, although this connection has not been proven to be very common", explains Prof. Leker this week. "This is one of the largest studies conducted regarding this connection, an international study designed to study the characteristics of stroke morbidity during the Corona period, in which it was found that there are more young patients and more blockages of large blood vessels among those young patients, but less blockages of small blood vessels as a cause of stroke - compared to the period The equivalent before the corona.

Corona test for every young person with a stroke

The results of the study also encourage a corona test for every young patient with a stroke, as a result of blockage of a large blood vessel in the brain that does not have classic risk factors that explain the stroke. We emphasize that these are not cases of ischemic stroke or cerebral venous thrombosis secondary to corona vaccines (phenomena that did not exist at the time of the data collection, which was done even before the invention of vaccines in Israel or in the world). This study is another reason to go and get vaccinated since the vaccine lowers the morbidity of corona and hence also the risk of stroke secondary to the corona disease at a young age. I hope that further studies in this field will be able to further contribute to the understanding of the connection between Corona and stroke".

for the scientific article

More of the topic in Hayadan:

One response

  1. What is the percentage of corona patients who have had a stroke out of all corona patients?
    This is a much more fundamental question.

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