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Incidence of recurrent ischemic stroke and its associated factors in a tertiary care center in Thailand: a retrospective cohort study.

BMC Neurology 2024 May 5
BACKGROUND: Ischemic stroke (IS) is one of the leading causes of death among non-communicable diseases in Thailand. Patients who have survived an IS are at an increased risk of developing recurrent IS, which can result in worse outcomes and post-stroke complications.

OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to investigate the incidence of recurrent IS among patients with first-ever IS during a one-year follow-up period and to determine its associated risk factors.

METHODS: Adult patients (aged ≥ 18 years) who were hospitalized at the Stroke Center, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital (KCMH) in Bangkok, Thailand, due to first-ever IS between January and December 2019 and had at least one follow-up visit during the one-year follow-up period were included in this retrospective cohort study. IS diagnosis was confirmed by neurologists and imaging. The log-rank test was used to determine the event-free survival probabilities of recurrent IS in each risk factor.

RESULTS: Of 418 patients hospitalized due to first-ever IS in 2019, 366 (87.6%) were included in the analysis. During a total of 327.2 person-years of follow-up, 25 (6.8%) patients developed recurrent IS, accounting for an incidence rate of 7.7 per 100 person-year (95% confidence interval [CI] 5.2-11.3). The median (interquartile range) time of recurrence was 35 (16-73) days. None of the 47 patients with atrial fibrillation developed recurrent IS. The highest incidence rate of recurrent IS occurred within 1 month after the first episode (34 per 100 person-years) compared to other follow-up periods. Patients with small vessel occlusion and large-artery atherosclerosis (LAA) constituted the majority of patients in the recurrent IS episode (48% and 40%, respectively), with LAA exhibiting a higher recurrence rate (13.5%). Additionally, smoking status was found to be associated with an increased risk of recurrence.

CONCLUSION: The incidence rate of the recurrence was moderate in our tertiary care setting, with a decreasing trend over time after the first episode. The various subtypes of IS and smoking status can lead to differences in event-free survival probabilities.

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