The profile of risk factors and in-patient outcomes of stroke in Kumasi, Ghana
Background: Stroke is an emerging public health challenge in Ghana requiring urgent attention for its control. Because some of the risk factors for stroke are modifiable, characterisation of these risk factors in the
Ghanaian population as well as outcomes of stroke are urgently needed to guide policy for non-communicable diseases. We therefore conducted this study to evaluate the frequencies of the traditional risk factors and outcomes of stroke at the main tertiary referral centre in the middle belt of Ghana in a prospective observational study.
Methods and results: Patients with a clinical diagnosis of stroke were consecutively recruited and vascular risk factors were assessed as well as markers of severity of stroke and in-patient treatment outcomes. 265
patients were recruited, 56.6% were females and mean ± SD age of 64.6 ± 14.54 years. 85%, 73% and 58% of patients had systemic arterial hypertension, physical inactivity and obesity respectively as common risk
factors. We identified that patients with stroke had a median of 3 traditional risk factors, were unaware of the presence of these risk factors or were poorly controlled if known. Stroke was associated with a high inpatient case fatality rate of 43% principally among patients with haemorrhagic stroke.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that urgent concerted efforts are required to improve public awareness and management of the prevailing risk factors of stroke in Ghana.
Key words: Stroke, risk factors, mortality, Ghana