Acute ischemic stroke is one of the major causes of disability and death worldwide. Effective prevention remains the best approach for reducing the burden of stroke. The aim of this work was to study the prevalence of stroke risk factors and the possible relation between such risk factors and the disease severity at presentation in a sample of stroke patients presented to Beni-Suef University Hospital, north Upper Egypt.
A sample of 167 patients of acute ischemic stroke recruited from Beni-Suef University Hospital was included in this cross-sectional descriptive study. All subjects were subjected to history taking, clinical, laboratory, and radiological evaluation. Stroke severity and disability were evaluated by National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) respectively.
Hypertension was detected in 104 patients (62.3%), dyslipidemia was detected in 79 patients (58.1%), and 69 patients (41.3%) were smokers. Diabetes mellitus was detected in 58 patients (34.7%) with high prevalence of cardio-embolic risk factor, 36 patients (21.6%) had rheumatic heart, and 44 patients (26.3%) had atrial fibrillation.NIHSS score was significantly higher in hypertensive patients (P value = 0.023) and in patients who had carotid stenosis ≥ 50% (P value = 0.011), whereas there was no significant relation between NIHSS score and diabetes mellitus (P = 0.221), dyslipidemia (P = 0.834), patients with history of cardio-embolic stroke (P = 0.085), previous ischemic stroke (P = 0.316), or sex (P = 0.343).mRS score was significantly higher in patients with age > 45 years old (P < 0.001), hypertension (P < 0.001), cardio-embolic risk factor (P = 0.044), and carotid stenosis ≥ 50% (P = 0.017), whereas there was no significant relation between mRS score and diabetes mellitus, previous ischemic stroke, or sex.
The most common risk factor for stroke was hypertension followed by dyslipidemia and then smoking with higher incidence of rheumatic heart diseases due to lowered living conditions. Age, hypertension, cardio-embolic risk factors, and carotid stenosis ≥ 50% have negative impact on stroke severity and disability.