30-day in-hospital stroke case fatality and significant risk factors in sub-Saharan–Africa: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Martin Ackah, Louise Ameyaw, Richard Appiah, David Owiredu, Hosea Boakye, Webster Donaldy, Comos Yarfi, Ulric S. Abonie*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Existing studies investigating 30-day in-hospital stroke case fatality rates in sub-Saharan Africa have produced varying results, underscoring the significance of obtaining precise and reliable estimations for this indicator. Consequently, this study aimed to conduct a systematic review and update of the current scientific evidence regarding 30-day in-hospital stroke case fatality and associated risk factors in sub-Saharan Africa. Medline/PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), APA PsycNet (encompassing PsycINFO and PsychArticle), Google Scholar, and Africa Journal Online (AJOL) were systematically searched to identify potentially relevant articles. Two independent assessors extracted the data from the eligible studies using a pre-tested and standardized excel spreadsheet. Outcomes were 30-day in-hospital stroke case fatality and associated risk factors. Data was pooled using random effects model. Ninety-three (93) studies involving 42,057 participants were included. The overall stroke case fatality rate was 27% [25%-29%]. Subgroup analysis revealed 24% [21%-28%], 25% [21%-28%], 29% [25%-32%] and 31% [20%-43%] stroke case fatality rates in East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa respectively. Stroke severity, stroke type, untyped stroke, and post-stroke complications were identified as risk factors. The most prevalent risk factors were low (<8) Glasgow Coma Scale score, high (≥10) National Institute Health Stroke Scale score, aspiration pneumonia, hemorrhagic stroke, brain edema/intra-cranial pressure, hyperglycemia, untyped stroke (stroke diagnosis not confirmed by neuroimaging), recurrent stroke and fever. The findings indicate that one in every four in-hospital people with stroke in sub-Saharan Africa dies within 30 days of admission. Importantly, the identified risk factors are mostly modifiable and preventable, highlighting the need for context-driven health policies, clinical guidelines, and treatments targeting these factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0002769
Number of pages21
JournalPLOS Global Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2024

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