Changes in stroke and TIA admissions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A meta-analysis.

Gunnarsson K, Tofiq A, Mathew A, Cao Y, von Euler M, Ström JO

Eur Stroke J - (-) 23969873231204127 [2023-09-29; online 2023-09-29]

To perform a meta-analysis on how the admissions of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) changed during the Corona Virus infection-19 (COVID-19) pandemic and evaluate if the effect was depending on stroke severity. Observational cohort studies comparing the number of stroke and/or TIA admissions during a period of the pandemic compared to a period before the pandemic were identified in PubMed and Embase. After excluding studies with overlapping populations and studies without satisfactory case ascertainment, data was extracted and meta-analyzed. A total of 59 studies were included. During the pandemic, there was a decrease in admissions of ischemic stroke (admission rate ratio (ARR) = 0.77, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.72, 0.82), intracerebral hemorrhage (ARR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.70, 0.90) and TIA (ARR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.58, 0.75). Albeit admission rates of both mild (ARR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.77) and severe (ARR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.71, 0.95) strokes decreased, milder strokes decreased more (proportion ratio (PR) = 0.76, 95% CI: 0.65, 0.89). Potential causes for the admission reduction could be strict prioritizations within the health care, patients' fear of acquiring COVID-19, or decreased access to health care due to lockdowns. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a reduction in admissions of stroke and TIA, possibly caused by reluctance to seek medical care.

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Journal article

PubMed 37776062

DOI 10.1177/23969873231204127

Crossref 10.1177/23969873231204127

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