Anaemia and incidence of post stroke dementia

Phyo Myint, Mary Joan Macleod, Allan Clark, Toby Smith, Joao H. Bettencourt-Silva, Anthony K. Metcalf, John Potter

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Objectives: To assess the impact of anaemia on incidence of post-stroke dementia.

Patients and Methods: We used data from a UK regional stroke register. To be eligible, patient must have survived to discharge and had anaemia by WHO criteria. Dementia status and other prevalent co-morbidities were assessed using ICD-10 codes. Patients were followed till May 2015 (mean follow-up 3.7 years, total person years = 27,769). Hazard Ratio for incident dementia was calculated using Cox-proportional hazards model controlling for potential confounders. Fine and Gray model was additionally constructed using mortality as the competing risk.

Results: A total of 7,454 stroke patients were included with mean age (SD) of 75.9(12.3) years (50.2% men). Those with anaemia were older, has higher disability and co-morbidity burden prior to stroke. We observed a large amount of variation in the dementia incidence rates over time and that the hazard ratio increased every year. The significant association between anaemia and dementia incidence was lost after controlling for pre-stroke Modified Rankin score (HR1.17(0.97,1.40)). With every 20g/dL increase in Hb was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of dementia after adjustment for age, sex, stroke factors and disability but lost significance after adjustment for vascular risk factors. Competing risk analyses showed similar results.

Conclusion: Whilst we found no evidence of anaemia as a risk factor for post-stroke dementia, the findings may be limited by potential under recognition of post stroke dementia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105688
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Early online date23 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Anaemia
  • Stroke
  • Comorbidity
  • Dementia
  • Cognitive impairment

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