The effect of COVID-19 on stroke hospitalizations in New York City

Charles Esenwa, Michael K. Parides, Daniel L. Labovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about the effect of the Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic on stroke care and the impact of the epidemic on acute stroke hospitalizations has not been described. Methods: We analyze the stroke admission rate in three hospitals in New York City from January 1, 2020 through April 17, 2020, identifying all cases of acute ischemic stroke, intraparenchymal hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Results: We confirmed 518 cases of out-of-hospital stroke. During the baseline period up to February 25, 2020, the daily stroke admission rate was stable, with the slope of the regression describing the number of admissions over time equal to -0.33 (se = 1.21), not significantly different from 0 (p = 0.79), with daily admissions averaging 41. During the pandemic period, the slope was -4.4 (se = 1.00); i.e., the number of stroke admissions decreased an average of 4.4 per week, (p = 0.005), with weekly admissions averaging 23, a reduction of 44% versus baseline. This general result was not different by patient age, sex, or race/ethnicity. Conclusions: The weekly stroke admission rate started declining two weeks prior to the local surge of coronavirus admissions. The consequences of lack of diagnosis and treatment of a large proportion of acute stroke patients are likely severe and lasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105114
JournalJournal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • acute stroke care
  • intracerebral hemorrhage
  • ischemic stroke
  • mechanical thrombectomy
  • racial disparities
  • subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • tPA
  • tissue plasminogen activator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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