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Monday, October 26, 2020

Qatari women at ‘higher risk’ of recurrent strokes, new research reveals

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A new study on the impact of stroke on the Qatari population has been published in a scientific journal.

A first-of-its-kind research on the impact of stroke on Qataris entitled ‘Stroke in the Adult Qatari Population: A Hospital-based Retrospective Cohort Study’ has been published by PLOS One, a reputable peer-reviewed open access scientific journal.

The study lays the foundation for future research on the incidence of stroke in Qatar, particularly as strokes are one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Previous studies have focused on stroke occurrences in expatriate populations. 

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The incidence of stroke in Qatari patients has increased compared to 2013 and the proportion of new cases have gone up. Strokes in Qatar occur a decade earlier than in the western population possibly due to the higher prevalence of vascular risk factors. Major risk factors for stroke include hypertension, smoking, dyslipidemia, diabetes, and obesity. According to research, diabetes and high blood pressure are common among Qatari stroke patients, more than two-thirds of participants in this latest study were diabetic or had high blood pressure which lead doctors to believe that both these conditions could be contributing factors to the increasing incidence of stroke in Qatar. 

“Qatari women, in particular, were found to have an increased risk of recurrent strokes, disability, and higher mortality, compared with males. Increased age and risk factors may be contributing factors but this warrants further research,” said Dr. Yahia Zakaria Bashier Imam, a Consultant with Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Neurosciences Institute and a principal investigator of the study. 

The study, which included researchers from HMC’s Neuroscience Institute and Medical Research Center, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, and the University of Alberta in Canada involved a retrospective review of all Qatari adults who were treated for stroke at HMC during a five-year period.

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“Epidemiological studies focusing on stroke in Qatar are scarce and there is very limited research on the stroke characteristics in Qataris compared to other populations. We hope our research will pave the way for more study into this important topic,” said Dr. Naveed Akhtar Senior Consultant Neurologist, Head of Stroke Service of HMC, and a collaborator on the study.

Since the launch of the Stroke Service at the Neuroscience Institute, the service has cared for more than 12,000 patients, 19% of them being Qatari Nationals.


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