Profile of Stroke in Nigerians: A Prospective Clinical Study
Stroke is a leading cause of death and neurological disability in adults, and imposes a heavy emotional and financial burden on the family and society. We carried out this study to describe the epidemiological pattern of stroke at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife and also to describe the risk factors, the computerized tomography (CT) scan findings and the outcome of stroke in our practice setting. We prospectively studied one hundred and thirty five consecutive patients presenting to the neurology unit of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Complex, Ile-Ife over a six year period (2000 - 2005). The socio-demographic and clinical data as well as the CT scan findings were collected. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS version 11.0. The 135 patients comprised 76 male and 59 female with a mean age of 62+ 12 years. The major risk factors were hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Cerebral infarction was the most common subtype of stroke seen. The case fatality rate was 15.6% and among the survivors the outcome was poor as only 3% made full recovery. Stroke is still a major problem and the major predisposing factor remains uncontrolled hypertension. The case fatality was very high and there is a risk of moderate to severe neurological disability among the survivors. The utilization of CT scan is sub-optimal even when it is available because of financial constraints. CT scan is recommended for all cases of stroke for definitive diagnosis and timely as well as accurate management.