A prospective stroke register in Sierra Leone: Demographics, Stroke Type, Stroke Care and Hospital Outcomes

Daniel Youkee, Gibrilla Deen, Edward Barrett, Julia Fox-Rushby, Israel Johnson, Peter Langhorne, Andrew Leather, Iain Marshall, Jessica O'Hara, Anthony Rudd, Albert Sama, Christella O.S. Scott, Melvina Thompson, Hatem Wafa, Jurate Wall, Yanzhong Wang, Caroline L. Watkins, Charles Wolfe, Durodami Radcliffe Lisk, Catherine Sackley

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Introduction: Stroke is the second most common cause of adult death in Africa. This study reports the demographics, stroke types, stroke care and hospital outcomes for stroke in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Methods: A prospective observational register recorded all patients 18 years and over with stroke between May 2019 and April 2020. Stroke was defined according to the WHO criteria. Pearson's chi-squared test was used to examine associations between categorical variables and unpaired t-tests for continuous variables. Multivariable logistic regression, to explain in-hospital death, was reported as odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals. Results: Three hundred eighty-five strokes were registered, and 315 (81.8%) were first-in-a-lifetime events. Mean age was 59.2 (SD 13.8), and 187 (48.6%) were male. Of the strokes, 327 (84.9%) were confirmed by CT scan. Two hundred thirty-one (60.0%) were ischaemic, 85 (22.1%) intracerebral haemorrhage, 11 (2.9%) subarachnoid haemorrhage and 58 (15.1%) undetermined stroke type. The median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale on presentation was 17 [interquartile range (IQR) 9–25]. Haemorrhagic strokes compared with ischaemic strokes were more severe, 20 (IQR 12–26) vs. 13 (IQR 7–22) (p < 0.001), and occurred in a younger population, mean age 52.3 (SD 12.0) vs. 61.6 (SD 13.8) (p < 0.001), with a lower level of educational attainment of 28.2 vs. 40.7% (p = 0.04). The median time from stroke onset to arrival at the principal referral hospital was 25 hours (IQR 6–73). Half of the patients (50.4%) sought care at another health provider prior to arrival. One hundred fifty-one patients died in the hospital (39.5%). Forty-three deaths occurred within 48 hours of arriving at the hospital, with median time to death of 4 days (IQR 0–7 days). Of the patients, 49.6% had ≥1 complication, 98 (25.5%) pneumonia and 33 (8.6%) urinary tract infection. Male gender (OR 3.33, 1.65–6.75), pneumonia (OR 3.75, 1.82–7.76), subarachnoid haemorrhage (OR 43.1, 6.70–277.4) and undetermined stroke types (OR 6.35, 2.17–18.60) were associated with higher risk of in-hospital death. Discussion: We observed severe strokes occurring in a young population with high in-hospital mortality. Further work to deliver evidence-based stroke care is essential to reduce stroke mortality in Sierra Leone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number712060
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2021


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