Wu C-H, Liou T-H, Chen H-H, Sun T-Y, Chen K-H, Chang K-H. Stroke risk in poliomyelitis survivors: a nationwide population-based study. Objectives: To assess the prevalence and risk of stroke among adults with polio and controls. Design: A prospective, probability-sampling, 6-year population-based cohort study. Setting: A National Health Insurance Research Database consisting of 316,355 randomly selected enrollees. The database is related to a National Health Insurance program with more than 22 million participants. Participants: After excluding patients under 40 years of age, polio patients (N=212) (mean age ± SD, 54.0±10.2y; 57.1% men) were identified from the database from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2008. For each polio patient, 2 age- and sex-matched patients were recruited as controls. Control patients did not have any neuromuscular diseases commonly found in childhood. The frequencies of patients with potential risk factors for stroke were assessed. Intervention: None. Main Outcome Measure: The prevalence and the adjusted odds ratio of ischemic stroke among polio patients and the controls were estimated. Results: Polio patients had a higher prevalence of stroke (10.8% vs 2.4%, P<.001) than the controls. Polio patients with hypertension had a much higher prevalence of stroke (23.0%). The risk of stroke was higher for polio patients compared with the controls, yielding an adjusted odds ratio of 4.17 (95% confidence interval, 1.84-9.45, P<.001). Polio was a significant risk factor for stroke independent from hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and cardiac diseases. Conclusions: Adults with polio had a high prevalence of ischemic stroke. Polio was an additional risk factor for stroke. Polio patients with hypertension might potentiate the risk of stroke. Developing a health promotion program, suitable for polio patients, to increase participation in activities and exercises may be essential, especially for polio patients with hypertension.
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