Background and aims: Whilst a number of variables, mostly a consequence of a stroke, are known to predict mortality of acute stroke there is limited information on the significance of pre-existing cardiovascular variables on stroke mortality. We have investigated the influence of pre-existing cardiovascular factors in one cohort of stroke patients.
Methods: We studied 295 patients, mean age 74+/-10 (range 34-96) years; 133 males, presenting with acute stroke for pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) defined as hypertension, atrial fibrillation (AF), ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and cardiac failure (CF). In addition, data were collected on epidemiological and neurological variables known to influence stroke mortality. The most significant of the cardiovascular factors was further investigated against all the other cardiovascular groups together and against those without any CVD. Outcome was measured as their influence on acute phase and 3-month mortality.
Results: There was no significant difference in 3-month mortality with hypertension (P=0.62) and IHD (P=0.33) but there was a significant higher mortality in patients with AF (P=0.05) and CF (P <0.001). CF was more significant than all other CVD (hypertension+AF+IHD) together without the failure (P<0.001); odds ratio of 4.5 (95% CI 2.28-9.07). Partial correlation coefficient revealed CF to be an independent significant variable to influence stroke mortality when controlled with AF, stroke syndromes, age, incontinence, pyrexia, dysphagia and Glasgow coma score.
Conclusions: Pre-existing CF has an adverse influence on stroke mortality independent of other known factors. Cardiovascular factors without failure do not have such an effect except the marginal effect of AF.