Racial Disparities in Ischemic Stroke Among Patients with COVID-19 in the United States

Alain Lekoubou, Matt Pelton, Djibril M Ba, Paddy Ssentongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Cerebrovascular prevalence is high in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, whether racial disparities exist among this population have not been systematically explored.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective study to assess the prevalence of stroke stratified by race among patients aged 18 years or older with COVID-19 who visited emergency department (ED) up to August 13, 2020 in the United States (US). We used multivariable logistic regression to compare the odds of stroke in Black patients with COVID-19 compared to their non-Black counterparts while adjusting for the major potential confounders.

RESULTS: Among 8815 patients with ED visits with COVID-19, 77 (0.87%), 95% confidence interval CI (95% CI): 0.69% to 1.10%) had ischemic stroke. The mean age of patients with stroke was 64 years (SD: 2 years); 28 (43%) were men, 55 (71%) had hypertension, and 29 (50%) were Black. The prevalence of ischemic stroke in Blacks, non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics was 1.26% (95% CI: 0.86% to 1.83%), 0.84% (95% CI: 0.51% to 1.37%) and 0.49% (95% CI: 0.26% to 0.88%) respectively. After adjustment for age, sex, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, drinking and smoking, the likelihood of stroke was higher in Black than non-Black patients (adjusted odds ratio, 2.76; 95% CI, 1.13 to 7.15, p=0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Racial disparities in the prevalence of stroke among patients with COVID-19 exist, higher in Black population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105877
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number8
StateE-pub ahead of print - May 18 2021


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