Stroke in Sierra Leone. The stroke risk factors for people with HIV: A prospective case-control study

Mamadu Baldeh, Daniel Youkee, Sulaiman Lakoh, Anthony Rudd, Peter Langhorne, Gibrilla F Deen, Zainab F Conteh, Durodami R Lisk, Jessica O'Hara, Melvina Thompson, Michael Tanu Brima, Yanzhong Wang, Charles DA Wolfe, Catherine M Sackley

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Background: HIV infection rates are relatively low in Sierra Leone and in West Africa but the contribution of HIV to the risk factors for stroke and outcomes is unknown. In this study, we examined stroke types, presentation, risk factors and outcome in HIV stroke patients compared with controls. Methods: We used data from the Stroke in Sierra Leone Study at 2 tertiary hospitals in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A case control design was used to compare stroke type, presentation, risk factors and outcome in sero-positive HIV patients with HIV negative stroke controls. Controls were matched for age and gender and a 1:4 ratio cases to controls was used to optimize power. Analysis was performed using the Pearson x 2 for categorical variable, Paired-T test and Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables. A p-value of less than 0.05 was taken as the level of statistical significance. Results: Of 511 (51.8%) stroke patients tested for HIV, 36 (7.1%) were positive. Univariate unmatched analysis showed a stroke mean age of 49 years in HIV-positive versus 58 years in HIV-negative population (p = <0.001). In the case-control group, ischaemic stroke is the major type reported in both populations, HIV-negative population: 77 (53.5%) versus HIV-positive: 25 (69.4%) (p = 0.084). Hypertension is the most prevalent risk factor in both groups, HIV-positive: 23 (63.9%) versus HIV-negative: 409 (86.1%) (p = 0.001). Lower CD4+ count is associated in-hospital mortality (p = <0.001). Conclusion: These findings support the current call for timely management of stroke and HIV through integrated care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107279
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2023


  • Stroke
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sub – Saharan Africa
  • HIV
  • Barthel index
  • Outcome


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