Publications by authors named "Fred S Sarfo"

52 Publications

A Novel Afrocentric Stroke Risk Assessment Score: Models from the Siren Study.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2021 Jul 28;30(10):106003. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA.

Background: Stroke risk can be quantified using risk factors whose effect sizes vary by geography and race. No stroke risk assessment tool exists to estimate aggregate stroke risk for indigenous African.

Objectives: To develop Afrocentric risk-scoring models for stroke occurrence.

Materials And Methods: We evaluated 3533 radiologically confirmed West African stroke cases paired 1:1 with age-, and sex-matched stroke-free controls in the SIREN study. The 7,066 subjects were randomly split into a training and testing set at the ratio of 85:15. Conditional logistic regression models were constructed by including 17 putative factors linked to stroke occurrence using the training set. Significant risk factors were assigned constant and standardized statistical weights based on regression coefficients (β) to develop an additive risk scoring system on a scale of 0-100%. Using the testing set, Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) curves were constructed to obtain a total score to serve as cut-off to discriminate between cases and controls. We calculated sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) at this cut-off.

Results: For stroke occurrence, we identified 15 traditional vascular factors. Cohen's kappa for validity was maximal at a total risk score of 56% using both statistical weighting approaches to risk quantification and in both datasets. The risk score had a predictive accuracy of 76% (95%CI: 74-79%), sensitivity of 80.3%, specificity of 63.0%, PPV of 68.5% and NPV of 76.2% in the test dataset. For ischemic strokes, 12 risk factors had predictive accuracy of 78% (95%CI: 74-81%). For hemorrhagic strokes, 7 factors had a predictive accuracy of 79% (95%CI: 73-84%).

Conclusions: The SIREN models quantify aggregate stroke risk in indigenous West Africans with good accuracy. Prospective studies are needed to validate this instrument for stroke prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106003DOI Listing
July 2021

Influence of age on links between major modifiable risk factors and stroke occurrence in West Africa.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Jul 9;428:117573. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Electronic address:

Background The burden of stroke in Africa is high. Understanding how age associates with major modifiable stroke risk factors could inform tailored demographic stroke prevention strategies. Purpose To quantify the magnitude and direction of the effect sizes of key modifiable stroke risk factors according to three age groups: <50 years (young), 50-65 years (middle age) and > 65 years (elderly) in West Africa. Methods This was a case-control study involving 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Cases included adults aged ≥18 years with CT/MRI scan-typed stroke. Controls were age-and gender-matched stroke-free adults. Detailed evaluations for vascular, lifestyle and psychosocial factors were performed. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (aOR) using conditional logistic regression and population attributable risk (PAR) with 95% Confidence Interval of vascular risk factors by age groups. Results Among 3553 stroke cases, 813 (22.9%) were young, 1441 (40.6%) were middle-aged and 1299 (36.6%) were elderly. Among the 5 co-shared risk factors, dyslipidemia with PAR and aOR (95%CI) of 62.20% (52.82-71.58) and 4.13 (2.64-6.46) was highest among the young age group; hypertension with PAR of 94.31% (91.82-96.80) and aOR of 28.93 (15.10-55.44) was highest among the middle-age group. Diabetes with PAR of 32.29%(27.52-37.05) and aOR of 3.49 (2.56-4.75); meat consumption with PAR of 42.34%(32.33-52.35) and aOR of 2.40 (1.76, 3.26); and non-consumption of green vegetables, PAR of 16.81%(12.02-21.60) and aOR of 2.23 (1.60-3.12) were highest among the elderly age group. However confidence intervals of risk estimates overlapped across age groups. Additionally, among the young age group cigarette smoking, psychosocial stress and cardiac disease were independently associated with stroke. Furthermore, education, stress, physical inactivity and salt intake were associated with stroke in the middle-age group while cardiac disease was associated with stroke in the elderly age group. Conclusion There is a differential influence of age on the associations of major risk factors with stroke in this West African cohort. Targeting modifiable factors predominant within an age group may be more effective as a stroke prevention strategy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117573DOI Listing
July 2021

Frequency and factors associated with post-stroke seizures in a large multicenter study in West Africa.

J Neurol Sci 2021 Aug 9;427:117535. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Nigeria; Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

Background: Post-stroke seizures (PSS) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality across the globe. There is a paucity of data on PSS in Africa.

Purpose: To assess the frequency and factors associated with PSS by stroke types across 15 hospitals in Nigeria and Ghana.

Methods: We analyzed data on all stroke cases recruited into the Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network (SIREN). We included adults aged ≥18 years with radiologically confirmed ischemic stroke (IS) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). PSS were defined as acute symptomatic seizures occurring at stroke onset and/or during acute hospitalization up until discharge. We used logistic regression to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% Confidence Interval.

Results: Among 3344 stroke patients, 499 (14.9%) had PSS (95% CI: 13.7-16.2%). The mean duration of admission in days for those with PSS vs no PSS was 17.4 ± 28.6 vs 15.9 ± 24.7, p = 0.72. There were 294(14.1%) PSS among 2091 ischemic strokes and 159(17.7%) among 897 with ICH, p = 0.01. The factors associated with PSS occurrence were age < 50 years, aOR of 1.59 (1.08-2.33), National Institute of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS), 1.29 (1.16-1.42) for each 5 units rise and white cell count 1.07 (1.01-1.13) for each 10^3 mm rise. Factors associated with PSS in ischemic were NIHSS score, aOR of 1.17 (1.04-1.31) and infarct volume of 10-30 cm aOR of 2.17(1.37-3.45). Among ICH, associated factors were alcohol use 5.91 (2.11-16.55) and lobar bleeds 2.22 (1.03-4.82).

Conclusion: The burden of PSS among this sample of west Africans is substantial and may contribute to poor outcomes of stroke in this region. Further longitudinal studies are required to understand the impact on morbidity and mortality arising from PSS in Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2021.117535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325635PMC
August 2021

Profile and outcomes of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 at a tertiary institution hospital in Ghana.

Ghana Med J 2020 Dec;54(4 Suppl):39-45

Department of Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

Background: In high-income countries, mortality related to hospitalized patients with the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is approximately 4-5%. However, data on COVID-19 admissions from sub-Saharan Africa are scanty.

Objective: To describe the clinical profile and determinants of outcomes of patients with confirmed COVID-19 admitted at a hospital in Ghana.

Methods: A prospective study involving 25 patients with real time polymerase chain reaction confirmed COVID-19 admitted to the treatment centre of the University Hospital, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana from 1 June to 27 July, 2020. They were managed and followed up for outcomes. Data were analysed descriptively, and predictors of mortality assessed using a multivariate logistic regression modelling.

Results: The mean age of the patients was 59.3 ± 20.6 years, and 14 (56%) were males. The main symptoms at presentation were breathlessness (68%) followed by fever (56%). The cases were categorized as mild (6), moderate (6), severe (10) and critical (3). Hypertension was the commonest comorbidity present in 72% of patients. Medications used in patient management included dexamethasone (68%), azithromycin (96%), and hydroxychloroquine (4%). Five of 25 cases died (Case fatality ratio 20%). Increasing age and high systolic blood pressure were associated with mortality.

Conclusion: Case fatality in this sample of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was high. Thorough clinical assessment, severity stratification, aggressive management of underlying co-morbidities and standardized protocols incountry might improve outcomes.

Funding: None declared.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gmj.v54i4s.7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8087356PMC
December 2020

Global Impact of COVID-19 on Stroke Care and IV Thrombolysis.

Neurology 2021 06 25;96(23):e2824-e2838. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Department of Neurology (R.G.N., M.H.M., M.Frankel, D.C.H.), Marcus Stroke and Neuroscience Center, Grady Memorial Hospital, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta; Department of Radiology (M.M.Q., M.A., T.N.N., A.K.) and Radiation Oncology (M.M.Q.), Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts; Department of Neurology (S.O.M.), Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre; Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre (S.O.M.), Brazil; Department of Stroke Neurology (H. Yamagami), National Hospital Organization, Osaka National Hospital, Japan; Department of Neurology (Z.Q.), Xinqiao Hospital of the Army Medical University, Chongqing, China; Department of Neurology (O.Y.M.), Stroke and Neurointervention Division, Alexandria University Hospital, Alexandria University, Egypt; Boston University School of Medicine (A.S.), Massachusetts; 2nd Department of Neurology (A.C.), Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw, Poland; Department of Neurology (G.T., L.P.), National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Attikon University Hospital, Athens, Greece; Faculdade de Medicina (D.A.d.S.), Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal; Department of Neurology (J.D., R.L.), Leuven University Hospital, Belgium; International Clinical Research Center and Department of Neurology (R.M.), St. Anne´s University Hospital in Brno and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Department of Neurology (P.V.), Groeninge Hospital, Kortrijk; Department of Neurology (P.V.), University Hospitals Antwerp; Department of Translational Neuroscience (P.V.), University of Antwerp, Belgium; Department of Neurology (J.E.S., T.G.J.), Cooper Neurological Institute, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, New Jersey; Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (J. Kõrv), University of Tartu, Estonia; Department of Neurology (J.B., R.V.,S.R.), Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Illinois; Department of Neurosurgery (C.W.L.), Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center; Department of Neurology (N.S.S.), Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center; Department of Neurology (A.M.Z., S.A.S.), UT Health McGovern Medical School, Houston, Texas; Department of Neurology (A.L.Z.), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston; Department of Internal Medicine (G.N.), School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece; Department of Neurology (K.M., A.T.), Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Department of Neurology (A.L.), Ohio Health Riverside Methodist Hospital Columbus; Department of Medicine and Neurology (A.R.), University of Otago and Wellington Hospital, New Zealand; Department of Neurology (E.A.M.), Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Department of Neurology (A.W.A., D. Alsbrook), University of Tennessee Health Center, Memphis; Department of Neurology (D.Y.H.), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Departments of Neurology (S.Y.) and Radiology (E.R.), New York University Grossman School of Medicine; Douala Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital (E.G.B.L.), University of Douala, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science, Cameroon; Ain Shams University Specialized Hospital (H.M.A., H.M.S., A.E., T.R.); Cairo University Affiliated MOH Network (F.H.); Department of Neurology (TM.), Nasser Institute for Research and Treatment, Cairo; Mansoura University Affiliated Private Hospitals Network (W.M.), Egypt; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (F.S.S.), Kumasi, Ghana; Stroke Unit (T.O.A., K.W.), University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital; Neurology Unit (B.A.), Department of Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital; Department of Medicine (E.O.N.), Federal Medical Centre Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria; Neurology Unit (T.A.S.), Department of Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria; University College Hospital (J.Y.), Ibadan, Nigeria; The National Ribat University Affiliated Hospitals (H.H.M.), Khartoum, Sudan; Neurology Section (P.B.A.), Department of Internal Medicine, Aga-Khan University, Medical College East Africa, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Tunis El Manar University (A.D.R.), Military Hospital of Tunis; Department of Neurology (S.B.S.), Mongi Ben Hmida National Institute of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine of Tunis, University Tunis El Manar, Tunisia; Department of Physiology (L.G.), Parirenyatwa Hospital, and Departments of Physiology and Medicine (G.W.N.), University of Zimbabwe, Harare; Department of Cerebrovascular/Endovascular Neurosurgery Division (D.S.), Erebouni Medical Center, Yerevan, Armenia; Department of Neurology (A.R.), Sir Salimulah College, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Department of Neurology (Z.A.), Taihe Hospital of Shiyan City, Hubei; Department of Neurology (F.B.), Nanyang Central Hospital, Henan; Department of Neurology (Z.D.), Wuhan No. 1 Hospital, Hubei, China; Department of Neurology (Y. Hao.), Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine; Department of Neurology (W.H.), Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Maoming, Guangdong; Department of Neurology (G.Li.), Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University, Shandong; Department of Neurology (W.L), The First Affiliated Hospital of Hainan Medical College; Department of Neurology (G.Liu.), Wuhan Central Hospital, Hubei; Department of Neurology (J.L.), Mianyang 404th Hospital, Sichuan; Department of Neurology (X.S.), Yijishan Hospital of Wannan Medical College, Anhui; Department of Neurology and Neuroscience (Y.S.), Shenyang Brain Institute, Shenyang First People's Hospital, Shenyang Medical College Affiliated Brain Hospital; Department of Neurology (L.T.), Affiliated Yantai Yuhuangding Hospital of Qingdao University, Shandong; Department of Neurology (H.W.), Xiangyang Central Hospital, Hubei; Department of Neurology (B.W., Y.Yan), West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu; Department of Neurology (Z.Y.), Affiliated Hospital of Southwest Medical University, Sichuan; Department of Neurology (H.Z.), Affiliated Hangzhou First People's Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine; Department of Neurology (J.Z.), The First Affiliated Hospital of Shandong First Medical University; Department of Neurology (W.Z.), First Affiliated Hospital of Fujian Medical University, China; Acute Stroke Unit (T.W.L.), The Prince of Wales Hospital, Kwok Tak Seng Centre for Stroke Research and Intervention, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Interventional Neurology (C.C.), MAX Superspecialty Hospital, Saket, New Delhi; NH Institute of Neurosciences (V.H.), NH Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bangalore; Department of Neurology (B.M.), Apollo Speciality Hospitals Nellore; Department of Neurology (J.D.P.), Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab; Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (P.N.S.), Kerala, India; Stroke Unit (F.S.U.), Pelni Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia; Neurosciences Research Center (M. Farhoudi, E.S.H.), Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran; Beer Sheva Hospital (A.H.); Department of Interventional Neuroradiology, Rambam Healthcare Campus, Haifa, Israel (A.R., R.S.H.); Departments of Neurology (N.O.) and Neurosurgery (N.S.), Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital, Kobe; Department of Stroke and Neurovascular Surgery (D.W.), IMS Tokyo-Katsushika General Hospital; Yokohama Brain and Spine Center (R.Y.); Iwate Prefectural Central (R.D.); Department of Neurology and Stroke Treatment (N.T.), Japanese Red Cross Kyoto Daiichi Hospital; Department of Neurology (T.Y.), Kyoto Second Red Cross Hospital; Department of Neurology (T.T.), Japanese Red Cross Kumamoto Hospital; Department of Stroke Neurology (Y. Yazawa), Kohnan Hospital, Sendai; Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine (T.U.), Saga-Ken Medical Centre; Department of Neurology (T.D.), Saitama Medical Center, Kawagoe; Department of Neurology (H.S.), Nara City Hospital; Department of Neurology (Y.S.), Toyonaka Municipal Hospital, Osaka; Department of Neurology (F. Miyashita), Kagoshima City Hospital; Department of Neurology (H.F.), Japanese Red Cross Matsue Hospital, Shimane; Department of Neurology (K.M.), Shiroyama Hospital, Osaka; Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine (J.E.S.), Niigata City General Hospital; Department of Neurology (Y.S.), Sugimura Hospital, Kumamoto; Stroke Medicine (Y. Yagita), Kawasaki Medical School, Okayama; Department of Neurology (Y.T.), Osaka Red Cross Hospital; Department of Stroke Prevention and Treatment (Y.M.), Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki; Department of Neurology (S.Y.), Stroke Center and Neuroendovascular Therapy, Saiseikai Central Hospital, Tokyo; Department of Neurology (R.K.), Kin-ikyo Chuo Hospital, Hokkaido; Department of Cerebrovascular Medicine (T.K.), NTT Medical Center Tokyo; Department of Neurology and Neuroendovascular Treatment (H. Yamazaki), Yokohama Shintoshi Neurosurgical Hospital; Department of Neurology (M.S.), Osaka General Medical Center; Department of Neurology (K.T.), Osaka University Hospital; Department of Advanced Brain Research (N.Y.), Tokushima University Hospital Tokushima; Department of Neurology (K.S.), Saiseikai Fukuoka General Hospital, Fukuoka; Department of Neurology (T.Y.), Tane General Hospital, Osaka; Division of Stroke (H.H.), Department of Internal Medicine, Osaka Rosai Hospital; Department of Comprehensive Stroke (I.N.), Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Japan; Department of Neurology (A.K.), Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University; Republican Center for eHealth (K.F.), Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Department of Medicine (S.K.), Al-Farabi Kazakh National University; Kazakh-Russian Medical University (M.Z.), Kazakhstan; Department of Neurology (J.-H.B.), Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul; Department of Neurology (Y. Hwang), Kyungpook National University Hospital, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University; Ajou University Hospital (J.S.L.); Department of Neurology (S.B.L.), Uijeongbu St. Mary's Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea; Department of Neurology (J.M.), National Medical Center, Seoul; Department of Neurology (H.P., S.I.S.), Keimyung University School of Medicine, Dongsan Medical Center, Daegu; Department of Neurology (J.H.S.), Busan Paik Hospital, School of Medicine, Inje University, Busan; Department of Neurology (K.-D.S.), National Health Insurance Service Ilsan Hospital, Goyang; Asan Medical Center (C.J.Y.), Seoul, South Korea; Department of Neurology (R.A.), LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon; Department of Medicine (W.A.W.Z., N.W.Y.), Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; Sultanah Nur Zahirah (Z.A.A., K.A.I.), Kuala Terengganu; University Putra Malaysia (H.b.B.); Sarawak General Hospital, Kuching (L.W.C.); Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim (A.B.I.), Sungai Petani Kedah; Hospital Seberang Jaya (I.L.), Pulau Pinang; Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara (W.Y.T.), Malaysia; "Nicolae Testemitanu" State University of Medicine and Pharmacy (S.G., P.L.), and Department of Neurology, Emergency Medicine Institute, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova; Department of Stroke Unit (A.M.A.H.), Royal Hospital Muscat, Oman; Neuroscience Institute (Y.Z.I., N.A.), Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar; St. Luke's Medical Center-Institute of Neurosciences (M.C.P.-F., C.O.C.), Quezon City, Philippines; Endovascular Neurosurgery (D.K.), Saint-Petersburg Dzhanelidze Research Institute of Emergency Medicine, St. Petersburg, Russia; Department of Neurology (A.A.), Stroke Unit, King Saud University, College of Medicine, Riyadh; Department of Neurosurgery (H.A.-J.), Interventional Radiology, and Critical Care Medicine, King Fahad Hospital of the University, Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia; Singapore National Neuroscience Institute (C.H.T.); Changi General Hospital (M.J.M.), Singapore; Neuroscience Center, Raffles Hospital (N.V.), Singapore; Department of Neurology (C.-H.C., S.-C.T.), National Taiwan University Hospital; Department of Radiology (A.C.), Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Dicle University Medical School and Hospital (E.A.), Diyarbakir; Stroke and Neurointervention Unit (O.A., A.O.O.), Eskisehir Osmangazi University; Gaziantep University Faculty of Medicine (S.G.), Turkey; Department of Neurology (S.I.H., S.J.), Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Stroke Center (H.L.V., A.D.C.), Hue Central Hospital, Hue, Vietnam; Stroke Department (H.H.N., T.N.P.), Da Nang Hospital, Da Nang City; 115 People's Hospital (T.H.N., T.Q.N.), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Department of Neurology (T.G., C.E.), Medical University of Graz; Department of Neurology (M. K.-O.), Research Institute of Neurointervention, University Hospital Salzburg/Paracelsus Medical University, Austria; Department of Neurology (F.B., A.D.), Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Charleroi, Belgium; Department of Neurology (S.D.B., G.V.), Sint Jan Hospital, Bruges; Department of Neurology (S.D.R.), Brussels University Hospital (UZ Brussel); Department of Neurology (N.L.), ULB Erasme Hospitals Brussels; Department of Neurology (M.P.R.), Europe Hospitals Brussels; Department of Neurology (L.Y.), Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium; Neurology Clinic (F.A., T.S.), St. Anna University Hospital, Sofia, Bulgaria; Department of Neurology (M.R.B.), Sestre Milosrdnice University Hospital, Zagreb; Department of Neurology (H.B.), Sveti Duh University Hospital, Zagreb; Department of Neurology (I.C.), General Hospital Virovitica; Department of Neurology (Z.H.), General Hospital Zabok; Department of Radiology (F. Pfeifer), University Hospital Centre Zagreb, Croatia; Regional Hospital Karlovy Vary (I.K.); Masaryk Hospital Usti nad Labem (D.C.); Military University Hospital Praha (M. Sramek); Oblastní Nemocnice Náchod (M. Skoda); Regional Hospital Pribram (H.H.); Municipal Hospital Ostrava (L.K.); Hospital Mlada Boleslav (M. Koutny); Hospital Vitkovice (D.V.); Hospital Jihlava (O.S.); General University Hospital Praha (J.F.); Hospital Litomysl (K.H.); Hospital České Budejovice (M.N.); Hospital Pisek (R.R.); Hospital Uherske Hradiste (P.P.); Hospital Prostejov (G.K.); Regional Hospital Chomutov (J.N.); Hospital Teplice (M.V.); Mining Hospital Karvina (H.B.); Thomayer Hospital Praha (D.H.); Hospital Blansko (D.T.); University Hospital Brno (R.J.); Regional Hospital Liberec (L.J.); Hospital Ceska Lipa (J.N.); Hospital Sokolov (A.N.); Regional Hospital Kolin (Z.T.); Hospital Trutnov (P. Fibrich); Hospital Trinec (H.S.); Department of Neurology (O.V.), University Hospital Ostrava, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic; Bispebjerg Hospital (H.K.C.), University of Copenhagen; Stroke Center (H.K.I., T.C.T.), Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen; Aarhus University Hospital (C.Z.S.), Aarhus; Neurovascular Center, Zealand University Hospital, University of Copenhagen (T.W.), Roskilde, Denmark; Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery (R.V.), University of Tartu, Estonia; Neurology Clinic (K.G.-P.), West Tallinn Central Hospital; Center of Neurology (T.T.), East Tallinn Central Hospital, School of Natural Sciences and Health, Tallinn University; Internal Medicine Clinic (K.A.), Pärnu Hospital, Estonia; Université Lille, Inserm, CHU Lille, Lille Neuroscience & Cognition (C.C., F.C.); Centre Hospitalier d'Arcachon (M.D.), Gujan-Mestras; Centre Hospitalier d'Agen (J.-M.F.); Neurologie Vasculaire (L.M.) and Neuroradiologie (O.E.), Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital Pierre Wertheimer, Bron; Centre Hospitalier et Universitaire de Bordeaux (E.L., F.R.); Centre Hospitalier de Mont de Marsan (B.O.); Neurologie (R.P.), Fondation Ophtalmologique Adolphe de Rothschild; Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (F. Pico); Neuroradiologie Interventionelle (M.P.), Fondation Ophtalmologique Adolphe de Rothschild; Neuroradiologie Interventionelle (R.P.), Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, France; K. Eristavi National Center of Experimental and Clinical Surgery (T.G.), Tbilisi; Department of Neurosurgery (M. Khinikadze), New Vision University Hospital, Tbilisi; Vivamedi Medical Center (M. Khinikadze), Tbilisi; Pineo Medical Ecosystem (N.L.), Tbilisi; Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (A.T.), Tbilisi, Georgia; Department of Neurology (S.N., P.A.R.), University Hospital Heidelberg; Department of Neurology (M. Rosenkranz), Albertinen Krankenhaus, Hamburg; Department of Neurology (H.S.), Elbe Klinken Stade, University Medical Center Göttingen; Department of Neurology (T.S.), University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden; Kristina Szabo (K.S.), Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University Heidelberg, Mannheim; Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie (G.T.), Kopf- und Neurozentrum, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany; Department of Internal Medicine (D.S.), School of Health Sciences, University of Thessaly, Larissa; Second Department of Neurology (O.K.), Stroke Unit, Metropolitan Hospital, Piraeus, Greece; University of Szeged (P.K.), Szeged; University of Pecs (L.S., G.T.), Hungary; Stroke Center (A.A.), IRCCS Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Negrar, Verona; Department of Neurology (F.B.), Ospedale San Paolo, Savona,; Institute of Neurology (P.C., G.F.), Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, Rome; Interventional Neurovascular Unit (L.R.), Careggi University Hospital, Florence; Stroke Unit (D.S.), Azienda Socio Sanitaria Territoriale (ASST) di Lecco, Italy; Maastricht University Medical Center; Department of Neurology (M.U.), Radiology, University Medical Center Groningen; Department of Neurology (I.v.d.W.), Haaglanden Medical Center, the Hague, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (E.S.K.), Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, General Practice, HELSAM, University of Oslo, Norway; Neurological Ward with Stroke Unit (W.B.), Specialist Hospital in Konskie, Gimnazjalna, Poland and Collegium Medicum, Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland; Neurological Ward with Stroke Unit (M.F.), District Hospital in Skarzysko-Kamienna; Department of Neurology (E.H.L.), Szpitala im T. Marciniaka in Wroclaw; 2nd Department of Neurology (M. Karlinski), Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw; Department of Neurology and Cerebrovascular Disorders (R.K., P.K.), Poznan University of Medical Sciences; 107th Military Hospital with Polyclinic (M.R.), Walcz; Department of Neurology (R.K.), St. Queen Jadwiga, Clinical Regional Hospital No. 2, Rzeszow; Department of Neurology (P.L.), Medical University of Lublin; 1st Department of Neurology (H.S.-J.), Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology, Warsaw; Department of Neurology and Stroke Unit (P.S.), Holy Spirit Specialist Hospital in Sandomierz, Collegium Medicum Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce; Copernicus PL (W.F.), Neurology and Stroke Department, Hospital M. Kopernik, Gdansk; Stroke Unit (M.W.), Neurological Department, Stanislaw Staszic University of Applied Sciences, Pila, Poland; Hospital São José (Patricia Ferreira), Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central, Lisbon; Stroke Unit (Paulo Ferreira, V.T.C.), Hospital Pedro Hispano, Matosinhos; Stroke Unit, Internal Medicine Department (L.F.), Neuroradiology Department, Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João, Porto; Department of Neurology (J.P.M.), Hospital de Egas Moniz, Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental, Lisbon, Portugal; Department of Neurosciences (T.P.e.M.), Hospital de Santa Maria-CHLN, North Lisbon University Hospital; Hospital São José (A.P.N.), Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Lisboa Central, Lisbon; Department of Neurology (M. Rodrigues), Hospital Garcia de Orta, Portugal; Department of Neurology (C.F.-P.), Transilvania University, Brasov, Romania; Department of Neurology (G.K., M. Mako), Faculty Hospital Trnava, Slovakia; Department of Neurology and Stroke Center (M.A.d.L., E.D.T.), Hospital Universitario La Paz, Madrid; Department of Neurology (J.F.A.), Hospital Clínico Universitario, Universidad de Valladolid; Department of Neurology (O.A.-M.), Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Albacete; Department of Neurology (A.C.C.), Unidad de Ictus, Hospital Universitario Ramon y Cajal, Madrid; Department of Neurology (S.P.-S), Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena & Neurovascular Research Laboratory (J.M.), Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla-IbiS; Rio Hortega University Hospital (M.A.T.A.), University of Valladolid; Cerebrovascular Diseases (A.R.V.), Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain; Department of Neurology (M. Mazya), Karolinska University Hospital and Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Interventional Neuroradiology (G.B.), University Hospitals of Geneva; Department of Interventional and Diagnostic Neuroradiology (A.B., M.-N.P.), Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Basel; Department of Neurology (U.F.), University of Bern; Department of Neuroradiology (J.G.), University of Bern; Department of Neuroscience (P.L.M., D.S.), Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland; Department of Stroke Medicine (S.B., J. Kwan), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Charing Cross Hospital, London; Department of Neurology (K.K.), Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, United Kingdom; Department of Neurology (A.B., A. Shuaib), University of Alberta, Edmonton; Department of Neurology (L.C., A. Shoamanesh), McMaster University, Hamilton; Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Hotchkiss Brain Institute (A.M.D., M.D.H.), University of Calgary; Department of Neurology (T.F., S.Y.), University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Mackenzie Health (J.H., C.A.S.) Richmond Hill, Ontario; Department of Neurology (H.K.), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto; Department of Neurology (A. Mackey), Hopital Enfant Jesus, Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite Laval, Quebec City; Department of Neurology (A.P.), University of Toronto; Medicine (G.S.), St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, Canada; Department of Neurosciences (M.A.B.), Hospital Dr. Rafael A. Calderon Guardia, CCSS. San Jose, Costa Rica; Neurovascular Service (J.D.B.), Hospital General San Juan de Dios, Guatemala City; Department of Neurología (L.I.P.R.), Hospital General de Enfermedades, Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social, Guatemala City, Guatemala; Department of Neurology (F.G.-R.), University Hospital Jose Eleuterio Gonzalez, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Pacífica Salud-Hospital Punta Pacífica (N.N.-E., A.B., R.K.), Panama; Department of Neurology, Radiology (M.A.), University of Kansas Medical Center; Department of Neurointerventional Neurosurgery (D. Altschul), The Valley Baptist Hospital, Ridgewood, New Jersey; Palmetto General Hospital (A.J.A.-O.), Tenet, Florida; Neurology (I.B., P.K.), University Hospital Newark, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers, Newark, New Jersey; Community Healthcare System (A.B.), Munster, Indiana; Department of Neurology (N.B., C.B.N.), California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco; Department of Neurology (C.B.), Mount Sinai South Nassau, New York; University of Toledo (A.C.), Ohio; Department of Neurology (S.C.), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Neuroscience (S.A.C.), Inova Fairfax Hospital, Virginia; Department of Neurology (H.C.), Abington Jefferson Hospital, Pennsylvania; Department of Neurology (J.H.C.), Mount Sinai South Nassau, New York; Baptist Health Medical Center (S.D.), Little Rock, Arkansas; Department of Neurology (K.D.), HCA Houston Healthcare Clearlake, Texas; Department of Neurology (T.G.D., R.S.), Erlanger, Tennessee; Wilmington North Carolina (V.T.D.); Department of Vascular and Neurointerventional Services (R.E.), St. Louis University, Missouri; Department of Neurology (M.E.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Department of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Radiology (M.F., S.O.-G., N.R.), University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City; Department of Radiology (D.F.), Swedish Medical Center, Englewood, Colorado; Department of Radiology (D.G.), Neurosurgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Adventist Health Glendale Comprehensive Stroke Center (M.G.), Los Angeles, California; Wellstar Neuroscience Institute (R.G.), Marietta, Georgia; Department of Neurology (A.E.H.), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley-Valley Baptist Medical Center, Texas; Department of Neurology (J.H., B.V.), Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Burlington, Massachusetts; Department of Neurology (A.M.K.), Wayne State, Detroit, Michigan; HSHS St. John's Hospital (N.N.K.), Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield; Virginia Hospital Center (B.S.K.), Arlington; Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Weill-Cornell Medical College (D.O.K.), New York-Presbyterian Queens; Department of Neurology (V.H.L.), Ohio State University, Columbus; Department of Neurology (L.Y.L.), Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Vascular and Neurointerventional Services (G.L.), St. Louis University, Missouri; Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute (I.L., A.K.S.), Florida; Department of Neurology (H.L.L.), Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; Department of Emergency Medicine (L.M., M.S.), Steward Holy Family Hospital, Methuen, MA; Vidant Medical Center (S.M.), Greenville, North Carolina; Department of Neurology (A.M.M., D.R.Y.) and Neurosurgery (D.R.Y.), University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Florida; Department of Neurology (H.M.), SUNY Upstate New York, Syracuse; Memorial Neuroscience Institute (B.P.M.), Pembroke Pines, Florida; Neurosciences (J.M., J.P.T.), Spectrum Health, Michigan State University College of Medicine, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Sutter Health (M.M.), Sacramento, California; Department of Neurology (J.G.M.), Maine Medical Center, Portland; Department of Neurology (S.S.M.), Bayhealth, Dover, Delaware; Department of Neurology and Pediatrics (F.N.), Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; Department of Neurology (K.N.), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock; Department of Radiology and Neurology (R.N.-W.), UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas; Ascension St. John Medical Center (R.H.R.), Tulsa, Oklahoma; Riverside Regional Medical Center (P.R.), Newport, Virginia; Department of Neurology (J.R.R., T.N.N.), Boston University School of Medicine, MA; Department of Neurology (A.R.), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Department of Neurology (M.S.), University of Washington School Medicine, Seattle; Department of Neurology (B.S.), University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester; Department of Neurology (A.S.), CHI-Immanuel Neurological Institute, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska; Holy Cross Hospital (S.L.S.), Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Department of Neurology (V.S.), Interventional Neuroradiology, University of California in Los Angeles; Banner Desert Medical Center (M.T.), Mesa, Arizona; Hospital de Agudos Dr. Ignacio Privano (O.B., A.L.), Argentina; Institute for Neurological Research, FLENI (V.A.P.L.), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hospital das Clinicas/São Paulo University (M.S.A., A.C.); Sumare State Hospital (F.B.C., L.V.), São Paulo; Hospital Vera Cruz (L.D.D.S.), Deus Campinas; Irmanandade Santa Casa de Porto Alegre (L.V.G.); Stroke Unit (F.O.L., F. Mont'alverne), Hospital Geral de Fortaleza; Stroke Unit (A.L.L., P.S.C.M.), Hospital Sao Jose, Joinville, Santa Catarina; Stroke Unit (R.T.M.), Neurology, Nossa Senhora da Conceição Hospital, Porto Alegre; Department of Neurology (D.L.M.C.), Hospital Moinhos de Vento, Porto Alegre; Department of Neurology (L.C.R.), Hospital de Base do Distrito Federal; Hospital Ana (V.F.C.), Hospital Juliane, Federal University of Parana, Curitiba, Brazil; Vascular Neurology Unit (P.M.L., V.V.O.), Neurology Service, Department of Neurology and Psychiatry, Clínica Alemana, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago; Hospital Padre Hurtado (V.N., J.M.A.T.) Santiago, Chile; Fundación Valle del Lili (P.F.R.A.), Cali; Stroke Center (H.B.), Fundación Santa Fe de Bogotá; Department of Neurology (A.B.C.-Q.), Hospital Departamental Universitario del Quindio San Juan de Dios, Armenia; Clinica Universitaria Colombia (C.E.R.O.), Bogotá; University Hospital of San Vicente Foundation (D.K.M.B.), Medellin; Barranquilla, Colombia (O.L.); Hospital Infantil Universitario de San Jose (M.R.P.), Bogota; Stroke Unit (L.F.D.-E.), Hospital de Clínicas, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Asunción; Neurology Service (D.E.D.M.F., A.C.V.), Hospital Central del Instituto de Prevision Social, Paraguay; Internal Medicine Service (A.J.Z.Z.), Hospital Central de Policia "Rigoberto Caballero", Paraguay; National Institute of Neurological Sciences of Lima Peru (D.M.B.I.); Hospital Edgardo Rebagliati Martins Lima-Peru (L.R.K.); Department of Neurology (B.C.), Royal Melbourne Hospital; Department of Neurology (G.J.H.), Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Perth; University of Melbourne (C.H., R.S.), Ballarat Health Service, Australia University of Melbourne; Department of Neurology (T.K.), Royal Adelaide Hospital; Department of Neurosurgery (A. Ma), Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney; Department of Neurology (R.T.M.), Mater Hospital, Brisbane; Department of Neurology (R.S.), Austin Health, Victoria; Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (R.S.), Parkville, Melbourne, Australia; Greymouth Base Hospital (D.S.), New Zealand; Department of Neurology (T.Y.-H.W.), Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand; Department of Neurology (D.L.), University of California in Los Angeles; and Department of Neurology (O.O.Z.), Mercy Health Neurosciences, Toledo, Ohio.

Objective: To measure the global impact of COVID-19 pandemic on volumes of IV thrombolysis (IVT), IVT transfers, and stroke hospitalizations over 4 months at the height of the pandemic (March 1 to June 30, 2020) compared with 2 control 4-month periods.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional, observational, retrospective study across 6 continents, 70 countries, and 457 stroke centers. Diagnoses were identified by their ICD-10 codes or classifications in stroke databases.

Results: There were 91,373 stroke admissions in the 4 months immediately before compared to 80,894 admissions during the pandemic months, representing an 11.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] -11.7 to -11.3, < 0.0001) decline. There were 13,334 IVT therapies in the 4 months preceding compared to 11,570 procedures during the pandemic, representing a 13.2% (95% CI -13.8 to -12.7, < 0.0001) drop. Interfacility IVT transfers decreased from 1,337 to 1,178, or an 11.9% decrease (95% CI -13.7 to -10.3, = 0.001). Recovery of stroke hospitalization volume (9.5%, 95% CI 9.2-9.8, < 0.0001) was noted over the 2 later (May, June) vs the 2 earlier (March, April) pandemic months. There was a 1.48% stroke rate across 119,967 COVID-19 hospitalizations. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection was noted in 3.3% (1,722/52,026) of all stroke admissions.

Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic was associated with a global decline in the volume of stroke hospitalizations, IVT, and interfacility IVT transfers. Primary stroke centers and centers with higher COVID-19 inpatient volumes experienced steeper declines. Recovery of stroke hospitalization was noted in the later pandemic months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011885DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205458PMC
June 2021

Factors associated with hypertension among stroke-free indigenous Africans: Findings from the SIREN study.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2021 04 23;23(4):773-784. Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for stroke and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) globally. Understanding risk factors for hypertension among individuals with matching characteristics with stroke patients may inform primordial/primary prevention of hypertension and stroke among them. This study identified the risk factors for hypertension among community-dwelling stroke-free population in Ghana and Nigeria. Data for 4267 community-dwelling stroke-free controls subjects in the Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network (SIREN) study in Nigeria and Ghana were used. Participants were comprehensively assessed for sociodemographic, lifestyle and metabolic factors using standard methods. Hypertension was defined as a previous diagnosis by a health professional or use of an anti-hypertensive drug or mean systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aOR) of hypertension and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) at p < .05. Overall, 56.7% of the participants were hypertensive with a higher proportion among respondents aged ≥60 years (53.0%). Factors including physical inactivity (aOR: 9.09; 95% CI: 4.03 to 20.53, p < .0001), diabetes (aOR: 2.70; CI: 1.91 to 3.82, p < .0001), being ≥60 years (aOR: 2.22; 95% CI: 1.78 to 2.77, p < .0001), and family history of CVD (aOR 2.02; CI: 1.59 to 2.56, p < .0001) were associated with increased aOR of hypertension. Lifestyle factors were associated with hypertension in the current population of community-dwelling stroke-free controls in west Africa. Community-oriented interventions to address sedentary lifestyles may benefit this population and reduce/prevent hypertension and stroke among them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.14183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8263562PMC
April 2021

Towards evidence-based policies to strengthen acute stroke care in low-middle-income countries.

J Neurol Sci 2020 11 4;418:117117. Epub 2020 Sep 4.

Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia. Electronic address:

Stroke is a major public health issue in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Despite the emergence of new effective interventions for acute stroke care, uptake remains slow and largely inaccessible to patients in LMICs, where health systems response has been inadequate. In this paper, we propose a policy framework to optimise access to acute stroke care in LMICs. We draw on evidence from relevant primary studies, such as availability of evidence-based acute stroke care interventions, barriers to uptake of interventions for stroke care and insights on stroke mortality and morbidity burden in LMICs. Insights from review of secondary studies, principally systematic reviews on evidence-based acute stroke care; and the accounts and experiences of some regional experts on stroke and other NCDs have been taken into consideration. In LMICs, there is limited availability and access to emergency medical transport services, brain imaging services and best practice interventions for acute stroke care. Availability of specialist acute stroke workforce and low awareness of early stroke signs and symptoms are also major challenges impeding the delivery of quality stroke care services. As a result, stroke care in LMICs is patchy, fragmented and often results in poor patient outcomes. Reconfiguration of LMIC health systems is thus required to optimise access to quality acute stroke care. We therefore propose a ten-point framework to be adapted to country-specific health system capacity, needs and resources: Emergency medical transport and treatment services, scaling-up interventions and services for acute stroke care, clinical guidelines for acute stroke treatment and management, access to brain imaging services, human resource capacity development strategies, centralisation of stroke services, tele-stroke care, public awareness campaigns on early stroke symptoms, establish stroke registers and financing of stroke care in LMICs. While we recognise the challenges of implementing the recommendations in low resource settings, this list can provide a platform as well serve as the starting point for advocacy and prioritisation of interventions depending on context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117117DOI Listing
November 2020

COVID-19 and stroke: Experience in a Ghanaian healthcare system.

J Neurol Sci 2020 09 16;416:117044. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, USA.

Background: The novel coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) causes multi-system disease including possibly heightened stroke risk. Data from high-income countries (HIC) suggest disruptions to care delivery with reduced stroke admissions and administration of acute stroke reperfusion therapies. We are unaware of any published data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on stroke admissions and outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Purpose: To compare rates of stroke admissions and case fatality between corresponding periods in 2020 and 2019, within a hospital system in Ghana, to assess the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: We compared monthly stroke admissions and mortality rates between January to June 2020 vs. January to June 2019 at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, a tertiary medical center in Ghana. Predictors of in-patient mortality were assessed using a multivariate logistic regression model.

Results: Stroke admissions were higher in January to June 2020 vs. January to June 2019 (431 vs. 401), an increase of +7.5% (95% CI: 5.1-10.5%). There was also a rise in recurrent stroke admissions in 2020 vs. 2019 (19.0% vs. 10.9%, p = .0026). Stroke case fatality trended higher in 2020 vs. 2019 (29.3% vs. 24.2%, p = .095) with an adjusted odds ratio of 1.22 (95% CI: 0.89-1.68).

Conclusion: While an influence of secular trends cannot be excluded, the COVID-19 outbreak coincided with a comparatively significant rise in initial and recurrent stroke admissions at this Ghanaian tertiary hospital. Continued surveillance at this hospital, as well as assessment of this issue at other sites in Africa is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117044DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7363605PMC
September 2020

Longitudinal control of blood pressure among a cohort of Ghanaians with hypertension: A multicenter, hospital-based study.

J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich) 2020 06 30;22(6):949-958. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry, Accra, Ghana.

There are limited data on factors associated with longitudinal control of blood pressure (BP) among Ghanaians on antihypertensive treatment. We sought to evaluate associations between prospective BP control and 24 putative factors within socio-demographic, biological, and organizational domains. This is a cohort study involving 1867 (65%) adults with hypertension and 1006 (35%) with both hypertension and diabetes mellitus at five public hospitals. Clinic BP was measured every 2 months for 18 months of follow-up. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was fitted via generalized linear mixed models to identify factors associated with clinic BP ≥ 140/90 mm Hg at each clinic visit during follow-up. Mean age of study participants was 58.9 ± 16.6 years and 76.8% were females. Proportions with controlled BP increased from 46.3% at baseline to 59.8% at month 18, P < .0001. Eight factors with adjusted OR (95% CI) associated prospectively with uncontrolled BP were male gender: 1.37 (1.09-1.72), secondary education: 1.32 (1.00-1.74), non-adherence to antihypertensive treatment: 1.03 (1.00-1.06), fruit intake: 0.94 (0.89-1.00), duration of hypertension diagnosis: 1.01 (1.00-1.02), hypertension with diabetes mellitus: 2.05 (1.72-2.46), number of antihypertensive medications: 1.63 (1.49-1.79), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (mL/min rise): 0.82 (0.76-0.89). Interventions aimed at addressing modifiable factors associated with poorly controlled BP would be critical in prevention of cardiovascular diseases among Ghanaians.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jch.13873DOI Listing
June 2020

Unraveling the risk factors for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage among West Africans.

Neurology 2020 03 19;94(10):e998-e1012. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

From Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (F.S.S., L.A., A. Singh, D.O.), Kumasi, Ghana; University of California (B.O.), San Francisco; Medical University of South Carolina (M.G., D.L., C.J., F.M.), Charleston; College of Medicine (O. Akpa, G. Ogbole, M.O., J.A., A.O., A. Adeoye, L. Ogunjimi, O. Arulogun, F.A., O. Ogah, A. Makanjuola, O. Adebayo, A. Agunloye, S.L., S.D., M.F., C.E.), University of Ibadan, Nigeria; University of Ghana Medical School (A. Akpalu, R.L., B.C.-T.), Accra; University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (K.W., L. Oyinloye, P.K., E.S.); Federal Medical Centre (R.A., O. Adeleye), Abeokuta; Ahmadu Bello University (R.O., O.B., V.S., H.I.), Zaria; Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (M.K., B.F., O. Ajose, S.O.), Ile-Ife; Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (L. Owolabi, A. Mande), Kano, Nigeria; University of Kentucky (D.A.), Lexington; University of Alabama at Birmingham (H.T.); University of Cambridge (H.S.M.), UK; Delta State University Teaching Hospital (O. Olugbo); Jos Teaching Hospital (G. Osaigbovo, A. Salaam, G.A., C.I.), Plateau State; Federal Medical Centre (I.C.), Umuahia, Abia State; Federal Medical Centre (T.S.), Owo, Ondo State; and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital (A. Akintunde), Ogbomosho, Oyo State, Nigeria.

Objective: To characterize risk factors for spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (sICH) occurrence and severity among West Africans.

Methods: The Stroke Investigative Research and Educational Network (SIREN) study is a multicenter case-control study involving 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Patients were adults ≥18 years old with CT-confirmed sICH with age-, sex-, and ethnicity-matched stroke-free community controls. Standard instruments were used to assess vascular, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors. Factors associated with sICH and its severity were assessed using conditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and population-attributable risks (PARs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for factors.

Results: Of 2,944 adjudicated stroke cases, 854 were intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Mean age of patients with ICH was 54.7 ± 13.9 years, with a male preponderance (63.1%), and 77.3% were nonlobar. Etiologic subtypes of sICH included hypertension (80.9%), structural vascular anomalies (4.0%), cerebral amyloid angiopathy (0.7%), systemic illnesses (0.5%), medication-related (0.4%), and undetermined (13.7%). Eight factors independently associated with sICH occurrence by decreasing order of PAR with their adjusted OR (95% CI) were hypertension, 66.63 (20.78-213.72); dyslipidemia, 2.95 (1.84-4.74); meat consumption, 1.55 (1.01-2.38); family history of CVD, 2.22 (1.41-3.50); nonconsumption of green vegetables, 3.61 (2.07-6.31); diabetes mellitus, 2.11 (1.29-3.46); stress, 1.68 (1.03-2.77); and current tobacco use, 14.27 (2.09-97.47). Factors associated with severe sICH using an NIH Stroke Scale score >15 with adjusted OR (95% CI) were nonconsumption of leafy green vegetables, 2.03 (1.43-2.88); systolic blood pressure for each mm Hg rise, 1.01 (1.00-1.01); presence of midline shift, 1.54 (1.11-2.13); lobar ICH, 1.72 (1.16-2.55); and supratentorial bleeds, 2.17 (1.06-4.46).

Conclusions: Population-level control of the dominant factors will substantially mitigate the burden of sICH in West Africa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000009056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7238923PMC
March 2020

Improving the quality of care for people who had a stroke in a low-/middle-income country: A qualitative analysis of health-care professionals' perspectives.

Health Expect 2020 04 22;23(2):450-460. Epub 2020 Jan 22.

Faculty of Health, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Background And Objective: Efforts to improve the adoption of evidence-based interventions for optimal patient outcomes in low-/middle-income countries (LMICs) are persistently hampered by a plethora of barriers. Yet, little is known about strategies to address such barriers to improve quality stroke care. This study seeks to explore health professionals' views on strategies to improve quality stroke care for people who had a stroke in a LMIC.

Methods: A qualitative interview study design was adopted. A semi-structured interview guide was used to conduct in-depth interviews among forty stroke care providers in major referral centres in Ghana. Participants were from nursing, medical, specialist and allied health professional groups. A purposive sample was recruited to share their views on practical strategies to improve quality stroke care in clinical settings. A thematic analysis approach was utilized to inductively analyse the data.

Results: A number of overarching themes of strategies to improve quality stroke care were identified: computerization and digitization of medical practice, allocation of adequate resources, increase the human resource capacity to deliver stroke care, development of clinical guideline/treatment protocols, institutionalization of multidisciplinary care and professional development opportunities. These strategies were however differentially prioritized among different categories of stroke care providers.

Conclusion: Closing the gap between existing knowledge on how to improve quality of stroke care in LMICs has the potential to be successful if unique and context-specific measures from the views of stroke care providers are considered in developing quality improvement strategies and health systems and policy reforms. However, for optimal outcomes, further research into the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed strategies by stroke care providers is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/hex.13027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104640PMC
April 2020

Unraveling the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications of Neurobiobanking and Stroke Genomic Research in Africa: A Study Protocol of the African Neurobiobank for Precision Stroke Medicine ELSI Project.

Int J Qual Methods 2020 Jan-Dec;19. Epub 2020 Jun 23.

Neuroscience and Ageing Research Unit, Institute for Advanced Medical Research and Training, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

The ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of emerging neurobiobanks and data resources are unclear in an African scientific landscape with unique cultural, linguistic, and belief systems. The overarching goal of the African Neurobiobank for Precision Stroke Medicine-ELSI Project is to identify, examine, and develop novel approaches to address ELSI issues of biobanking and stroke genomic research in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). To accomplish the goal we will (1) explore knowledge, attitude, perceptions, barriers, and facilitators influencing ELSI issues related to biobanking and stroke genomic research; (2) use information obtained to craft a community intervention program focused on ELSI issues; and (3) build capacity and careers related to genomics and biobanking for effective client/community engagement while enhancing regulatory, governance, and implementation competences in biobanking science in SSA. A community-based participatory research and mixed-methodological approach, focused on various levels of the social ecological model, will be used to identify and examine relevant ELSI issues. Contextual intervention tools, platforms, and practices will be developed to enhance community understanding and participation in stroke biobanking and genomics research activities while facilitating enduring trust, and equitable and fair utilization of biobanking resources for genetic and trans-omics research. A concurrent capacity building program related to genetic counseling and biobanking will be implemented for early career researchers. The huge potential for neurobiobanking and genomics research in Africa to advance precision medicine applicable to stroke and other neurological disorders requires addressing ELSI challenges while building sustainable research, career, and regulatory capacities in trans-omics and biobanking science.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1609406920923194DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8284747PMC
June 2020

Cardiovascular risk factors among Ghanaian patients with HIV: A cross-sectional study.

Clin Cardiol 2019 Dec 30;42(12):1195-1201. Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Background: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) poses a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, data are limited on CVD risk burden among HIV patients in Ghana. We describe the age- and sex-adjusted prevalence of CVD risk factors among HIV patients in Ghana.

Methods: From January 2013 to May 2014, we identified eligible HIV patients 18 years and older, as well as uninfected adult blood donors presenting to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital as controls. Using a standardized protocol, we collected demographic, clinical, laboratory, and electrocardiographic data. We created multivariable logistic regression models to compare the prevalence of abnormal risk factors between the two groups.

Results: We recruited 345 patients with HIV (n = 173 on HAART, n = 172 not on HAART) and 161 uninfected adult blood donors. Patients with HIV were older (mean [SD] age: 41 [11] vs 32 [11] years) and were more likely to be female (72% vs 28%) than blood donors. Among patients on HAART, median (interquartile range) treatment duration was 17 (4-52) months. The prevalence of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus among HIV patients was 9%, 29%, and 5%, respectively, compared with 5%, 15%, and 0.6% among uninfected blood donors. Smoking was the least prevalent CVD risk factor (1%-2%). After adjustment for age, sex, and body mass index, HIV patients had a 10-fold higher odds of prevalent diabetes compared with controls, (adjusted OR = 10.3 [95% CI: 1.2, 86.7]).

Conclusion: CVD risk factors are common among HIV patients in Ghana, demonstrating the urgent need for creation and implementation of strategic CVD interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clc.23273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6906980PMC
December 2019

Echocardiographic Abnormalities and Determinants of 1-Month Outcome of Stroke Among West Africans in the SIREN Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2019 06 30;8(11):e010814. Epub 2019 May 30.

1 Center for Genomic and Precision Medicine University of Ibadan Ibadan Nigeria.

Background Little is known about the relationship between echocardiographic abnormalities and outcome among patients with acute stroke. We investigated the pattern and association of baseline echocardiographic variables with 1-month disability and mortality among patients with stroke in the SIREN (Stroke Investigative Research and Education Network) study. Methods and Results We enrolled and followed up consecutive 1020 adult patients with acute stroke with baseline transthoracic echocardiography from west Africa. To explore the relationship between echocardiographic variables and 1-month disability (using modified Rankin scale >3) and fatality, regression models were fitted. Relative risks were computed with 95% CIs. The participants comprised 60% men with a mean age of 59.2±14.6 years. Ischemic stroke was associated with smaller aortic root diameter (30.2 versus 32.5, P=0.018) and septal (16.8 versus 19.1, P<0.001) and posterior wall thickness at systole (18.9 versus 21.5, P=0.004). Over 90% of patients with stroke had abnormal left ventricular (LV) geometry with eccentric hypertrophy predominating (56.1%). Of 13 candidate variables investigated, only baseline abnormal LV geometry (concentric hypertrophy) was weakly associated with 1-month disability (unadjusted relative risk, 1.80; 95% CI , 0.97-5.73). Severe LV systolic dysfunction was significantly associated with increased 1-month mortality (unadjusted relative risk, 3.05; 95% CI , 1.36-6.83). Conclusions Nine of 10 patients with acute stroke had abnormal LV geometry and a third had systolic dysfunction. Severe LV systolic dysfunction was significantly associated with 1 month mortality. Larger studies are required to establish the independent effect and unravel predictive accuracy of this association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.118.010814DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585359PMC
June 2019

Response by Sarfo to letter regarding "Patients with hypertension and/or diabetes and incident stroke: A risk assessment".

Authors:
Fred S Sarfo

J Neurol Sci 2019 08 12;403:163-164. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.12.017DOI Listing
August 2019

Quality of life among patients with moderate to advanced chronic kidney disease in Ghana - a single centre study.

BMC Nephrol 2019 04 8;20(1):122. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

Department of Medicine, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, School of Medical Sciences, Kumasi, Ghana.

Background: The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing worldwide and in Africa. Health related quality of life (QOL) has become an essential outcome measure for patients with CKD and end stage renal disease (ESRD). There is growing interest worldwide in QOL of CKD patients but paucity of data in Ghana. This study sought to assess QOL in patients with moderate to advanced CKD (not on dialysis) and establish its determinants.

Methods: We conducted a cross sectional observational study at the renal outpatient clinic at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH). We collected demographic, clinical and laboratory data. A pretested self-administered Research and Development corporation (RAND®) 36-Item Health Survey questionnaire was administered and QOL scores in physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) were computed. Determinants of QOL were established by simple and multiple linear regression. P value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The study included 202 patients with CKD not on dialysis. There were 118(58.5%) males. Mean age was 46.7 ± 16.2 years. The majority, 165(81.7%) of patients were on monthly salaries of less than GHS 500 (~USD 125). Chronic glomerulonephritis was the most common cause of CKD in 118 (58.5%) patients followed by diabetes mellitus in 40 (19.8%) patients and hypertension in 19 (9.4%) patients. The median serum creatinine was 634.2 μmol/L (IQR 333-1248) and the median eGFR was 7 ml/min/1.73m (IQR 3-16). The most common stage was CKD stage 5 accounting for 143 (71.1%), followed by CKD stage 4 with 45 (22.4%) of cases and 13 (6.5%) of CKD stage 3. The overall mean QOL score was 40.3 ± 15.4. MCS score was significantly lower than PCS score (37.3 ± 10.8 versus 43.3 ± 21.6, P < 0.001). Multiple linear regression showed that low monthly income (p = 0.002) and low haemoglobin levels (p = 0.003) were predictive of overall mean QOL.

Conclusion: Patients with moderate to advanced CKD had low-income status, presented with advanced disease and had poor QOL. Anaemia and low-income status were significantly associated with poor QOL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12882-019-1316-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6454740PMC
April 2019

Longer-term effectiveness of protease-inhibitor-based second line antiretroviral therapy in four large sub-Saharan African clinics.

J Infect 2019 05 6;78(5):402-408. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Objectives: Data on the longer-term effectiveness of second line combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are lacking. We sought to assess the probability and determinants of 2nd line ART failure in SSA.

Methods: A retrospective, multi-center study of 2nd line ART initiated between 2005 and 2017 at four ART centers in Ethiopia, Ghana and Uganda. Main outcome measure was virologic failure (VF) defined as VL>1000 copies/ml after >6 months on 2nd line therapy. Predictors of VF and virologic re-suppression on 2nd line were evaluated using Cox Proportional Hazards and multivariable logistic regression models, respectively.

Results: 2191 subjects started 2nd line therapy, 61.5% females. Switching from 1st line (56.4% NVP-based, 70.3% including thymidine-analogues) to 2nd line therapy occurred after mean of 4.1 years. 98.9% of patients started boosted PI with NRTI backbone (TDF+3TC/FTC 67.3%, AZT+3TC 18.5%, others 14.2%). There were 267 (12.0%) VF with a 5-year estimated probability of 15.0% (95% CI 13.2-16.9). Key determinants of VF were concomitant rifampicin use (aHR 2.50 [95% CI 1.54-4.05]) and clinical/immunological failure versus virologic failure as reason for switching therapy (aHR, 0.53 [0.33-0.86]). 138 of 267 (51.7%) subsequently achieved virologic re-suppression and predictors included HIV RNA levels at 2nd-line failure: +1 log higher aOR 0.59 [0.43-0.80], experiencing change within 2nd line ART before VF: aOR 0.17 [0.05-0.56], and more recent calendar year of 2nd line initiation: aOR 0.85 [0.75-0.94].

Conclusions: The effectiveness of current 2nd line ART regimens in SSA is good but challenged by interactions with TB therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jinf.2019.03.003DOI Listing
May 2019

Prevalence, Trajectory, and Predictors of Poststroke Fatigue among Ghanaians.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2019 May 21;28(5):1353-1361. Epub 2019 Feb 21.

University of California, San Francisco, California.

Background And Purpose: Poststroke fatigue (PSF) is rife among stroke survivors and it exerts a detrimental toll on recovery from functional deficits. The burden of PSF is unknown in sub-Saharan Africa. We have assessed the prevalence, trajectory, and predictors of PSF among 60 recent Ghanaian stroke patients.

Methods: Study participants in this prospective cohort (recruited between January 2017 and June 2017) were stroke survivors, aged greater than 18 years, with CT scan confirmed stroke of less than 1-month onset. PSF was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) at enrollment, months 3, 6, and 9. Those with a score of greater than or equal to 4 points on FSS were categorized as "fatigued." A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of PSF at enrollment and at month 9.

Results: Sixty-five percent (65%) of our sample were males with a mean age of 55.1 ± 12.7 years. In addition to all participants having hypertension, 85% had dyslipidemia and 25% had diabetes mellitus. Ischemic strokes comprised 76.6% of the study population. The prevalence of PSF was 58.9% at baseline and declined to 23.6% at month 9, P = .0002. Diabetes mellitus was significantly associated with PSF at baseline with an adjusted odds ratio of 15.12 (95% CI: 1.70-134.30), P = .01. However, at month 9, age greater than or equal to 65 years, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of 7.02 (95% CI: 1.16-42.52); female sex, aOR of 8.52 (1.23-59.16), and depression, aOR of 8.86 (1.19-65.88) were independently associated with PSF.

Conclusions: Approximately 6 out of 10 Ghanaian stroke survivors experience PSF within the first month of stroke onset. PSF persists in approximately 1 out of 4 stroke survivors at 10 months after the index stroke. Further studies to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for PSF are required and adequately powered interventional multicenter trials are eagerly awaited to provide solid evidence base for the clinical management of PSF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2019.02.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6467808PMC
May 2019

Response by Sarfo to letter regarding "Estimated glomerular filtration rate and incident stroke in patients with hypertension and/or diabetes".

Authors:
Fred S Sarfo

J Neurol Sci 2019 02 27;397:112-113. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.12.032DOI Listing
February 2019

Incident stroke among Ghanaians with hypertension and diabetes: A multicenter, prospective cohort study.

J Neurol Sci 2018 12 13;395:17-24. Epub 2018 Sep 13.

Department of Medicine & Therapeutics, University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry, Accra, Ghana.

Background: The burden of stroke among hypertensive and diabetic population in sub-Saharan Africa remains high. We sought to identify the risk factors associated with stroke occurrence in these high-risk population groups.

Methods: A prospective cohort study involving adults with hypertension and or type II diabetes mellitus at 5 public hospitals in Ghana who were stroke-free at enrollment. Patients were followed every 2 months at clinic for 18 months and assessed clinically for first ever stroke by physicians. We calculated crude incidence rates for stroke and assessed the factors associated with stroke occurrence using a multivariate Cox Proportional Hazards regression models.

Results: Of 3220 eligible participants with 3805 person-years of follow-up, there were 54 clinically confirmed new strokes. Incidence rate of stroke was 14.19 events per 1000 person-years [95% CI: 10.77-18.38], with rates among diabetics with hypertension being 16.64 [10.58-25.00], hypertension of 13.77 [9.33-19.64] and diabetes was 9.81 [3.59-21.74]. Two factors independently associated with stroke occurrence were previous cigarette smoking with adjusted HR (95% CI) of 2.59 (1.18-5.67) and physical inactivity, 1.81 (1.06-3.10). In secondary analysis, stage II hypertension compared with optimal BP was associated with aHR of 3.04 (1.00-9.27), p = .05 for stroke occurrence.

Conclusion: Incident stroke among Ghanaians with hypertension and diabetes is quite high. Stricter control of blood pressure and engaging in regular physical activities are strongly recommended to reduce the risk of strokes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.09.018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6227375PMC
December 2018

Knowledge, attitudes and practices of West Africans on genetic studies of stroke: Evidence from the SIREN Study.

Int J Stroke 2019 01 24;14(1):69-79. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

7 Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria.

Background: It is crucial to assess genomic literacy related to stroke among Africans in preparation for the ethical, legal and societal implications of the genetic revolution which has begun in Africa.

Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of West Africans about stroke genetic studies.

Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted among stroke patients and stroke-free controls recruited across 15 sites in Ghana and Nigeria. Participants' knowledge of heritability of stroke, willingness to undergo genetic testing and perception of the potential benefits of stroke genetic research were assessed using interviewer-administered questionnaire. Descriptive, frequency distribution and multiple regression analyses were performed.

Results: Only 49% of 2029 stroke patients and 57% of 2603 stroke-free individuals knew that stroke was a heritable disorder. Among those who knew, 90% were willing to undergo genetic testing. Knowledge of stroke heritability was associated with having at least post-secondary education (OR 1.51, 1.25-1.81) and a family history of stroke (OR 1.20, 1.03-1.39) while Islamic religion (OR=0.82, CI: 0.72-0.94), being currently unmarried (OR = 0.81, CI: 0.70-0.92), and alcohol use (OR = 0.78, CI: 0.67-0.91) were associated with lower odds of awareness of stroke as a heritable disorder. Willingness to undergo genetic testing for stroke was associated with having a family history of stroke (OR 1.34, 1.03-1.74) but inversely associated with a medical history of high blood pressure (OR = 0.79, 0.65-0.96).

Conclusion: To further improve knowledge of stroke heritability and willingness to embrace genetic testing for stroke, individuals with less formal education, history of high blood pressure and no family history of stroke require targeted interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1747493018790059DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8325169PMC
January 2019

Drug resistance outcomes of long-term ART with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in the absence of virological monitoring.

J Antimicrob Chemother 2018 11;73(11):3148-3157

Institute of Infection & Global Health, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.

Objectives: The resistance profiles of patients receiving long-term ART in sub-Saharan Africa have been poorly described. This study obtained a sensitive assessment of the resistance patterns associated with long-term tenofovir-based ART in a programmatic setting where virological monitoring is yet to become part of routine care.

Methods: We studied subjects who, after a median of 4.2 years of ART, replaced zidovudine or stavudine with tenofovir disoproxil fumarate while continuing lamivudine and an NNRTI. Using deep sequencing, resistance-associated mutations (RAMs) were detected in stored samples collected at tenofovir introduction (T0) and after a median of 4.0 years (T1).

Results: At T0, 19/87 (21.8%) subjects showed a detectable viral load and 8/87 (9.2%) had one or more major NNRTI RAMs, whereas 82/87 (94.3%) retained full tenofovir susceptibility. At T1, 79/87 (90.8%) subjects remained on NNRTI-based ART, 5/87 (5.7%) had introduced lopinavir/ritonavir due to immunological failure, and 3/87 (3.4%) had interrupted ART. Whilst 68/87 (78.2%) subjects maintained or achieved virological suppression between T0 and T1, a detectable viral load with NNRTI RAMs at T0 predicted lack of virological suppression at T1. Each treatment interruption, usually reflecting unavailability of the dispensary, doubled the risk of T1 viraemia. Tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz selected for K65R, K70E/T, L74I/V and Y115F, alongside M184V and multiple NNRTI RAMs; this resistance profile was accompanied by high viral loads and low CD4 cell counts.

Conclusions: Viraemia on tenofovir, lamivudine and efavirenz led to complex resistance patterns with implications for continued drug activity and risk of onward transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dky281DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6198639PMC
November 2018

Tele-Rehabilitation after Stroke: An Updated Systematic Review of the Literature.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2018 Sep 4;27(9):2306-2318. Epub 2018 Jun 4.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Background: Tele-rehabilitation for stroke survivors has emerged as a promising intervention for remotely supervised administration of physical, occupational, speech, and other forms of therapies aimed at improving motor, cognitive, and neuropsychiatric deficits from stroke.

Objective: We aimed to provide an updated systematic review on the efficacy of tele-rehabilitation interventions for recovery from motor, higher cortical dysfunction, and poststroke depression among stroke survivors.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Cochrane library from January 1, 1980 to July 15, 2017 using the following keywords: "Telerehabilitation stroke," "Mobile health rehabilitation," "Telemedicine stroke rehabilitation," and "Telerehabilitation." Our inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials, pilot trials, or feasibility trials that included an intervention group that received any tele-rehabilitation therapy for stroke survivors compared with a control group on usual or standard of care.

Results: This search yielded 49 abstracts. By consensus between 2 investigators, 22 publications met the criteria for inclusion and further review. Tele-rehabilitation interventions focused on motor recovery (n = 18), depression, or caregiver strain (n = 2) and higher cortical dysfunction (n = 2). Overall, tele-rehabilitation interventions were associated with significant improvements in recovery from motor deficits, higher cortical dysfunction, and depression in the intervention groups in all studies assessed, but significant differences between intervention versus control groups were reported in 8 of 22 studies in favor of tele-rehabilitation group while the remaining studies reported nonsignificant differences.

Conclusion: This updated systematic review provides evidence to suggest that tele-rehabilitation interventions have either better or equal salutary effects on motor, higher cortical, and mood disorders compared with conventional face-to-face therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.05.013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6087671PMC
September 2018

Pilot trial of a tele-rehab intervention to improve outcomes after stroke in Ghana: A feasibility and user satisfaction study.

J Neurol Sci 2018 04 1;387:94-97. Epub 2018 Feb 1.

Medical University of South Carolina, USA.

Background: Tele-rehabilitation after stroke holds promise for under-resourced settings, especially sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with its immense stroke burden and severely limited physical therapy services.

Objective: To preliminarily assess the feasibility and outcomes of mobile technology-assisted physical therapy exercises for stroke survivors in Ghana.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, single arm, pre-post study involving 20 stroke survivors recruited from a tertiary medical center, who received a Smartphone with the 9zest Stroke App® to deliver individualized, goal-targeted 5-days-a-week exercise program that was remotely supervised by a tele-therapist for 12 weeks. Outcome measures included changes in stroke levity scale scores (SLS), Modified Rankin score (MRS), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA), and feasibility indicators.

Results: Among study participants, mean ± SD age was 54.6 ± 10.2 years, 11 (55%) were men, average time from stroke onset was 6 months. No participants dropped out. Compared with baseline status, mean ± SD scores on SLS improved from 7.5 ± 3.1 to 11.8 ± 2.2 at month 1 (p < 0.0001) and 12.2 ± 2.4 at month 3 (p < 0.0001), MOCA scores improved from 18.2 ± 4.3 to 20.4 ± 4.7 at month 1 (p = 0.14), and 22.2 ± 7.6 at month 3 (p = 0.047). Mean ± SD weekly sessions performed by participants per month was 5.7 ± 5.8 and duration of sessions was 25.5 ± 16.2 min. Erratic internet connectivity negatively affected full compliance with the intervention, although satisfaction ratings by study participants were excellent.

Conclusion: It is feasible to administer an m-health delivered physical therapy intervention in SSA, with high user satisfaction. Randomized trials to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this intervention are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5868410PMC
April 2018

Response by Sarfo and Ovbiagele to letter regarding "Post-stroke depression: Risk assessment".

J Neurol Sci 2018 04 31;387:229-230. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2018.01.033DOI Listing
April 2018

Long-Term Outcomes of Stroke in a Ghanaian Outpatient Clinic.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2018 Apr 20;27(4):1090-1099. Epub 2017 Dec 20.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Background: Compared with high-income countries, sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries experience a comparatively higher early mortality from stroke. However, data on long-term mortality from stroke in SSA are lacking.

Objective: Our aim is to assess long-term outcomes of stroke in an SSA setting.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of longitudinal data involving 607 consecutive stroke survivor encountered at an outpatient clinic in Kumasi, Ghana, between January 2012 and June 2014. Data were closed for analysis in June 2016. Data on demography, presence of vascular risk factors, stroke type, and functional status were evaluated. We followed up subjects who were no longer attending clinic by phone to assess their vital status. Primary outcome was death after initiation of clinic care, and its predictors were determined using a Cox proportional hazards regression model.

Results: Mean ± standard deviation (SD) age of cohort was 59.9 ± 13.9 years and 50.3% were female. Of the 607 stroke survivors, 377 (62.1%) were still alive, 59 (9.7%) were confirmed to have died, whereas 171 (28.2%) were lost to follow-up at the clinic. Mean ± SD observation time for the cohort was 32 ± 30 months. Upon adjustment for confounders, the independent predictors of mortality were age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] of 1.41 [95% confidence interval 1.15-1.73] for a 10-year increase in age) and diabetes mellitus (aHR of 2.24 [1.32-3.80]).

Conclusions: Diabetes mellitus, a modifiable risk factor for stroke, is associated with an increased risk of mortality among West African stroke survivors over the long term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2017.11.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845472PMC
April 2018

Plasma Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein, Copeptin, and Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 Concentrations among West African Stroke Subjects Compared with Stroke-Free Controls.

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2018 Mar 23;27(3):633-644. Epub 2017 Oct 23.

Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina.

Background: Measurement of plasma molecular markers among stroke patients has been proposed as an avenue for improving the accuracy of stroke diagnosis. There is paucity of data on the potential role of these markers in resource-limited settings, where the burden of stroke is greatest.

Objective: To assess the potential diagnostic and prognostic performance of 3 proposed biomarkers for stroke in a resource-constrained setting.

Methods: Consecutive stroke subjects presenting at a tertiary medical center in Kumasi, Ghana, with radiologically confirmed diagnosis and etiologic subtype information available were recruited along with age- and gender-matched controls in a 2:1 ratio. Plasma concentrations of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), copeptin, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) among stroke patients and stroke-free controls were measured in duplicates using enzyme linked immunoassays. Diagnostic and prognostic correlates were assessed using area-under-the-curve (AUC) measures of receiver operator curves and logistic regression analysis, respectively.

Results: There were 156 stroke subjects with a mean age of 61.3 years of which 47.4% were females and 74 age- and gender-matched stroke-free controls. Median (interquartile range) time from symptom onset to hospital presentation for care was 7 days (5-11). Diagnostic accuracy of a single measurement of the 3 biomarkers for stroke using AUC (95% confidence interval) plots were as follows: .84 (.77-0.91), P < .0001, for GFAP; .85 (.79-0.92), P < .0001, for copeptin; and .65 (.56-0.73), P = .0003, for MMP-9. None of the biomarkers was associated with stroke severity or mortality.

Conclusion: Plasma concentrations of GFAP and copeptin demonstrated stronger associations with stroke occurrence in this West African cohort compared with controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2017.09.035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5811313PMC
March 2018

Potential role of tele-rehabilitation to address barriers to implementation of physical therapy among West African stroke survivors: A cross-sectional survey.

J Neurol Sci 2017 Oct 1;381:203-208. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA.

Background: The greatest burden from stroke-related disability is borne by Low-and-Middle Income countries (LMICs) where access to rehabilitation after stroke is severely challenged. Tele-rehabilitation could be a viable avenue to address unmet rehabilitation needs in LMICs.

Objectives: To assess the burden of post-stroke physical deficits, rates of utilization of physiotherapy services, and perceptions of tele-rehabilitation among recent Ghanaian stroke survivors.

Methods: Using a consecutive sampling strategy, 100 stroke survivors attending an outpatient Neurology clinic in a Ghanaian tertiary medical center were enrolled into this cross-sectional study. After collecting basic demographic data, clinical history on stroke type, severity and level of disability, we administered the validated 20-item Functional Independence Measure questionnaire to evaluate functional status of study participants and an 8-item questionnaire to assess participants' attitudes towards telemedicine administered rehabilitation intervention.

Results: Mean±SD age of study participants was 57.2±13.3years of which 51.0% were males with a mean duration of stroke of 1.3±2.2years. 53% had Modified Rankin scores of ≥3, 57% were fully independent and only 27% reported utilizing any physiotherapy services. Barriers to access to physiotherapy included financial constraints due to cost of physiotherapy services and transportation as well as premature discharge from physiotherapy to avoid overburdening of available physiotherapy services. These factors led to the limited provision of rehabilitative therapy. Participants held positive views of the potential for tele-rehabilitation interventions (80-93%). However, while 85% owned mobile phones, only 35% had smart phones.

Conclusion: Despite, a high burden of residual disability, only about 1 out of 4 stroke patients in this Ghanaian cohort was exposed to post-stroke physiotherapy services, largely due to relatively high costs and limited health system resources. These Ghanaian stroke patients viewed the potential role of Tele-rehabilitation as positive, but this promising intervention needs to be formally tested for feasibility, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2017.08.3265DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5679737PMC
October 2017

Tele-neurology in sub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review of the literature.

J Neurol Sci 2017 Sep 26;380:196-199. Epub 2017 Jul 26.

Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA.

Background: The rapid advancement in telecommunications on the African continent has opened up avenues for improving medical care to underserved populations. Although the greatest burden of neurological disorders is borne by Low-and-Middle Income Countries (LMICs) including sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), there is a profound paucity of neurologists to serve the population. Telemedicine presents a promising avenue for effective mobilization and utilization of the few neurologists in Africa.

Objective: To systematically review the published literature on the use of telemedicine for improved care and outcomes for patients with neurological disorders in SSA.

Methods: We searched PubMed and Cochrane library from January 1, 1980 to April 30, 2017 using the following keywords: "Telemedicine neurology Africa", "Teleneurology Africa", "Telestroke Africa", "Telerehabilitation Africa", "Telemedicine for epilepsy", "Telemedicine for Parkinson's disease Africa", "Telemedicine for dementia Africa", "Telehealth neurology Africa". Our inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials, or case series that reported the utilization of telemedicine for care/education of individuals with neurological disorders in sub-Saharan Africa.

Results: This search yielded 6 abstracts. By consensus between two investigators, 1 publication met the criteria for inclusion and further review. The one study identified utilized telemedicine for the purpose of improving education/knowledge of 16 doctors and 17 allied health professionals in Parkinson's disease (PD) in Cameroon. The study noted feasibility and satisfaction of participants with telemedicine as well as improved knowledge base of participants after the educational course but noted access to healthcare by patients did not change. No studies have evaluated the use of telemedicine for care of patients with neurological disorders.

Conclusion: The indication is that teleneurology may be feasible in SSA and studies are needed to assess feasibility, acceptability, efficacy, cost-effectiveness of this promising discipline of neurology in these resource-limited settings. We propose the setting up of trans‑continental, inter-regional, intra-regional, and national networks of neurologists to utilize teleneurology platforms to improve the reach of neurology care in SSA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2017.07.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5678757PMC
September 2017
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