Researchers analyzed data on more than 20,000 U.S. adults hospitalized with COVID-19 between January and November 2020. The analysis found that their risk of stroke was higher than for patients with other types of infections, including flu.
“These findings suggest that COVID-19 may increase the risk for stroke, though the exact mechanism for this is still unknown,” said lead author Dr. Saate Shakil, a cardiology fellow at the University of Washington.
The new study found that 1.4% of COVID patients had a stroke confirmed by diagnostic imaging.
Of those, 52.7% had an ischemic stroke (caused by blocked blood flow to the brain); 45.2% had a bleeding or unspecified type of stroke; and 2.5% had a transient ischemic attack (also called a mini-stroke or TIA).