Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care conducted an analysis to understand the frequency and characteristics of stroke in coronavirus patients.

For this, the researchers reviewed around 28,000 emergency department records. The records revealed that two per cent of patients diagnosed with Covid-19 had suffered an ischemic stroke. Further, these patients had an increased risk of requiring long-term care after hospital discharge.

The researchers collaborated with the MU Institute for Data Science and Informatics and the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation to review data from 54 healthcare facilities.

They found 103 patients (1.3 per cent) of 8,163 patients with Covid-19 had developed ischemic stroke. Comparatively, 199 patients (1.0 per cent) of 19,513 patients who did not have Covid-19 had developed stroke.

"Patients with Covid-19 who developed acute ischemic stroke were older, more likely to be Black, and had a higher frequency of cardiovascular risk factors," said lead researcher Adnan I. Qureshi, MD, a professor of clinical neurology at the MU School of Medicine.

The study noted that among those with Covid-19 and stroke, 45 per cent were Black, 36 per cent White and six per cent Hispanic. They tended to have hypertension (84 per cent), high fat content in the blood (75 per cent) and diabetes (56 per cent).

"We also found that Covid-19 patients with stroke had a significantly higher rate of discharge to a destination other than home compared to stroke patients without Covid-19," Qureshi said.

He added: "Patients with Covid-19 tend to have multi-system involvement and elevated markers of inflammation, which have been shown to increase the rate of death or disability."

Their study, "Acute Ischemic Stroke and Covid-19," was published in the journal Stroke .