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Background: Stroke is a major health issue in Nigeria and it is also a common cause of emergency admissions. Stroke often results in increased morbidity, mortality and reduced quality of life in people thus affected. The risk factors for stroke include metabolic abnormalities such as dyslipidaemia and diabetes mellitus (DM). The stress of an acute stroke may present with hyperglycaemia and in persons without a prior history of DM, may be a pointer to stress hyperglycaemia or undiagnosed DM.MethodologyThis was a cross sectional study carried out over a period of one year in a teaching hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. Patients with acute stroke admitted to the hospital within three days of the episode of stroke and who met other inclusion criteria for the Study were consecutively recruited. Clinically relevant data was documented and biochemical assessments were carried out within three days of hospitalization. Tests for lipid profile, glycosylated haemoglobin(HbA1c), and blood glucose at presentation were carried out. The presence of past history of DM, undiagnosed DM, stress hyperglycaemia and abnormal lipid profile were noted. Students t test and Chi square were the statistical tests employed. Results: A total of 137 persons with stroke were recruited of which 107 (76%) met the defining criteria for ischaemic stroke. The mean age and age range of the Study subjects were 62.2 (11.7) and 26–89 years respectively. The Study subjects were classified according to their glycaemic status into the following categories viz; stress hyperglycaemia, euglycaemia, DM and previously undiagnosed DM. Stress hyperglycaemia occurred commonly in the fifth decade of life and its incidence was comparable between those with cerebral and haemorrhagic stroke. The commonly occurring lipid abnormalities were elevated LDL-C and low HDL. Conclusions: The detection of abnormal metabolic milieu is a window of opportunity for aggressive management in persons with stroke as this will improve outcome. Routine screening for hyperglycaemia in persons with stroke using glycosylated haemoglobin tests and blood glucose may uncover previously undiagnosed DM.
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