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Rise in Stroke Patients With Comorbid HIV

Last Updated: January 20, 2011.

U.S. hospitals are treating significantly more stroke patients who have co-existing HIV infections, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Neurology.

THURSDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. hospitals are treating significantly more stroke patients who have co-existing HIV infections, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Neurology.

Bruce Ovbiagele, M.D., from the University of California in Los Angeles, and Avindra Nath, M.D., from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., reviewed data from patients admitted to hospitals in all U.S. states that contributed to the Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Patients discharged from hospitals between 1997 and 2006 with a primary diagnosis of stroke were included. Independent predictors of concurrent HIV diagnosis were evaluated.

The researchers identified a significant increase in the percentage of patients who were hospitalized with any type of stroke and had comorbid HIV infection (0.09 percent in 1997 compared with 0.15 percent in 2006). Patients with HIV infection comprised 0.08 percent of ischemic strokes in 1997; this increased significantly to 0.18 percent in 2006. The proportion of hemorrhagic strokes did not change significantly. The total number of stroke hospitalizations decreased by 7 percent from 1997 to 2006, but the number of stroke hospitalizations with co-existing HIV infection increased by 60 percent.

"Over the last decade in the United States, there has been a substantial and significant rise in patients hospitalized for stroke with coexisting HIV infection," the authors write. "This has important public health and socioeconomic consequences."

One of the study authors disclosed a financial relationship with a pharmaceutical company.

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