BACKGROUND: Stroke is a recognized complication after acute myocardial infarction, but few studies have investigated the incidence and outcome of stroke in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). This study examined the incidence and outcomes of hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic stroke and risk factors associated with stroke in patients with ACS.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Data were obtained from 35,233 patients enrolled in the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) with an ACS. In-hospital strokes occurred in 310 patients (0.9%), of which 100 (32.6%) were fatal. The incidence of in-hospital stroke was significantly higher in patients with ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction than in non-ST-segment myocardial infarction or unstable angina (1.3%, 0.9%, 0.5%, respectively; P<0.001). Overall, 35.5% of in-hospital strokes occurred within 6 days of hospitalization. The strongest risk factor for in-hospital nonhemorrhagic stroke was in-hospital CABG, followed by in-hospital atrial fibrillation, previous stroke, initial enzyme elevation, and advanced age. Prior statin use was a protective factor. After controlling for potential confounders, in-hospital mortality was significantly higher among patients who experienced an in-hospital stroke (adjusted odds ratio, 8.3; 95% CI, 6.0 to 11.4). A total of 269 additional strokes (1.1%) occurred within 6 months after discharge from hospital, of which 56 (20.9%) were fatal. The most important risk factor for postdischarge stroke was the occurrence of an in-hospital stroke.
CONCLUSIONS: Stroke is an uncommon event in patients with ACS but is associated with high mortality. Despite current therapy, the incidence of postdischarge stroke is not low. New approaches are warranted to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with ACS.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/robert_goldberg/312/