Pattern of stroke in a rural Kenyan hospital
The pattern of stroke in rural population differs from that in urban ones. Although there are many studies on this condition in sub-Saharan Africa, few studies about stroke pattern in a Kenyan rural area exist.. This study therefore aims at describing the characteristics of stroke in a rural Kenyan hospital.
Patients and Methods
The study was conducted on 227 consecutive patients admitted with a World Health Organization (WHO) diagnosis of stroke in Kangundo Hospital, a level IV facility in Machakos, Eastern Kenya, between April 2015 and September 2016. The sub-type and anatomical distribution of stroke as well as the age, gender of the patients were recorded prospectively. Diagnosis was made through physical neurological examination and confirmed by Computerized Tomography (CT) scan imaging. Only those with complete bio-data, past medical and social history, clinical and physical findings of the patients and imaging results were included. The data were entered into a pre-formatted questionnaire, analysed for means, standard deviations and frequencies, and are presented in tables and bar charts.
Out of 3200 medical admissions, 227 (7.09%) had a confirmed diagnosis of stroke. Ischaemic stroke was more common (67.4%) than haemorrhagic stroke (32.6%). It affected mainly the anterior circulation, especially the middle cerebral artery (39%). The mean age of patients was 68.8 years, (Range 32 – 96). It was more common in females (62%) than in males (38%). Hypertension was the most common (74%) risk factor followed by alcohol abuse (63%), tobacco smoking (48%) and diabetes mellitus (42%).
Ischaemic stroke was the more common major cause of morbidity in the rural hospital studied in Kenya. It occurred most commonly among elderly females, with the most frequent comorbidities being hypertension. In addition, modifiable lifestyle factors like alcohol abuse and cigarette smoking contributed to the prevalence; hence we recommend the control of blood pressure and glucose as well as lifestyle modification to reduce the scourge in our studied population.