Stroke in hospitalized patients: are there special risk factors?

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2002;13(2):127-31. doi: 10.1159/000047762.


Background and purpose: The occurrence of stroke in patients hospitalized for various illnesses remains a particular challenge for neurologists. Determining the potential causes for these particular cerebrovascular events may help to define the population at risk and to take measures in order to prevent stroke during hospitalization. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential risk factors associated with stroke, which occurred in patients hospitalized for other illnesses.

Methods: This retrospective case-control study based on data of patients who underwent an ischemic stroke while being hospitalized not because of stroke and a control group of patients admitted during the same period who were matched for age and sex to the study patients. Common vascular risk factors, e.g. fever, leukocytosis, blood pressure, hemoglobin, cardiac arrhythmia and dehydration, were compared between the study and control groups.

Results: Of 2,247 consecutive patients with ischemic stroke, the stroke had occurred during hospitalization not related to any surgical procedure in 80 (3.5%). Six parameters were found as being significant independent risk factors for in-hospital stroke: fever and leukocytosis during hospitalization, elevated diastolic and unstable blood pressure, dehydration and past history of myocardial infarction.

Conclusion: Careful monitoring of temperature, blood count, blood pressure, and clinical and laboratory signs of dehydration is needed to prevent in-hospital stroke.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / etiology*