Stroke affecting younger Ghanaians- UGMC pilot study

According to a pilot study conducted by a team at the neurosurgical department of the University of Ghana Medical Centre Ltd (UGMC), with support from the Centre's research directorate, the highest number of deaths from the deadliest type of stroke (intracerebral haemorrhage) occurred between the ages of 36 and 45 years (38% of deaths recorded).

Stroke affecting younger Ghanaians- UGMC pilot study

The study which was made public at the July edition of the monthly Grand Rounds presentations organised by the medical affairs directorate of the UGMC, also found out that majority of the 37 patients who took part in the study and had suffered from this type of stroke, had no previous history of alcohol and smoking intake or had ever used blood thinners.

Further, the study revealed that uncontrolled hypertension was the highest risk factor for this type of stroke, and the highest mortality rate was found to be amongst hypertensive patients who were non-compliant with their treatment regimes (84%).

According to Dr. Osei Adjei of the neurosurgical department of UGMC, although this study (which was conducted at the Centre from January 2023 to May 2023) was just a pilot one and could not be generalized, the results were still comparable to the worrying trend globally so there was the need for more public health education on hypertension and medication compliance by hypertensive patients.

The team also advocated for a prompt intervention for stroke patients (within 6 hours of the incident), standardized local stroke management guidelines, and a multidisciplinary approach to tackle the rising incidence of hypertension and strokes amongst a relatively youthful and economically productive segment of the Ghanaian populace.
Currently, the team is conducting a study to assess the prevalence and management outcomes of hemorrhagic strokes over a 3-year period.