Stroke is an important neurological disorder with significant morbidity and mortality. In India, the risk factors for stroke (obesity, diabetes mellitus, alcoholism, hypertension, and sedentary lifestyle) are mounting with economic growth and increasing the disease burden.
To assess the severity and risk factors of stroke in India and identify any new predisposing factors.
A multicentric (six tertiary care hospitals across India) prospective observational study (from September 2016 to July 2017) was conducted on 526 stroke patients, presenting within the first 24 h to examine the risk factors for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Severity was determined using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS).
Predominantly male (72.3%), 75% of the sample was >50 years old, with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 25.8 ± 4.3 kg/m2 and 14.6% obese patients. Hypertension and diabetes mellitus were the commonest comorbidities, followed by a history of ischemic heart disease and familial history of stroke. 20.5% of patients had mild strokes, 57.4% had moderate, 8.4% experienced moderate-severe strokes, whereas 7.2% had severe strokes. Regarding the admission diagnoses, 56.8% were ischemic, 18.6% were hemorrhagic, 1.1% had a transient ischemic attack, 6.6% suffered recurrent strokes, and 17% were other forms.
The foremost risk factors for stroke in India, hypertension and diabetes, need to be controlled and treated like other global high-risk populations for stroke prevention. The NIHSS scores highlight the relationship between risk factors and stroke severity.