Following the PRISMA guidelines, they searched Medline and Scopus to locate all articles published up to February 11, 2023, reporting the risk of incident ischemic stroke in adult patients recovered from COVID-19 infection compared to non-infected patients (controls) defined as those who did not experience the infection over the same follow-up period. Ischemic stroke risk was evaluated using the Mantel-Haenszel random effects models with adjusted Hazard ratio (HR) as the effect measure with 95% confidence interval (CI) while heterogeneity was assessed using Higgins I2 statistic. Overall, 23,559,428 patients (mean age 56, 1 year, 54.3% males), of whom 1,595,984 had COVID-19, were included. Over a mean follow-up of 9.2 months, ischemic stroke occurred in 4.40 [95% CI: 4.36-4.43] out of 1000 patients survived to COVID-19 compared to 3.25 [95% CI:3.21-3.29] out of 1000 controls. Recovered COVID-19 patients presented a higher risk of ischemic stroke ((HR: 2.06, 95% CI: 1.75-2.41, p < 0.0001, I2 = 63.7%) compared to people who did not have COVID-19. COVID-19 patients hospitalized at the time of the infection have a subsequent higher risk of stroke during the follow-up compared to those non-hospitalized. The authors concluded that recovered COVID-19 patients have a higher risk of ischemic stroke compared to subjects from the general population within 9 months from the index infection.
Zuin M, Mazzitelli M, Rigatelli G, Bilato C, Cattelan AM. Risk of ischemic stroke in patients recovered from COVID-19 infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Stroke J. 2023 Jul 25:23969873231190432.