Stroke, Altered Mental State Increase Death Risk For COVID-1
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People hospitalised with COVID-19 and neurological problems including stroke and confusion, have a higher risk of dying than other patients infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a new study published in the journal Neurology which assessed data from 4,711 COVID-19 patients who were admitted for six-week period.

According to the scientists, 581 of the 4,711 patients had neurological problems serious enough to warrant brain imaging. They compared these individuals with 1,743 non-neurological COVID-19 patients of similar age and disease severity who were admitted during the same period.

The researchers believe the findings have the potential to identify and focus treatment efforts on individuals most at risk, and could decrease COVID-19 deaths. In the study, 55 participants were diagnosed with stroke and 258 people exhibited confusion or altered thinking ability.

According to the scientists, individuals with stroke were twice as likely to die compared with their matched controls. They said people with confusion had a 40 per cent mortality rate compared with 33 per cent for their matched controls. Over 50 per cent of the stroke patients did not have hypertension or any other risk factors for stroke.

This study is the first to show that the presence of neurological symptoms, particularly stroke and confused or altered thinking, may indicate a more serious course of illness, even when pulmonary problems aren’t severe, said David Altschul, a co-author of the study.

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