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Objectives: Stroke is recognised as the third most common cause of mortality and it has an increasing incidence in developing countries. Recognition and control of risk factors are of prime importance in the prevention of stroke. This study aimed to examine the characteristics of ischaemic stroke (IS) patients in Oman and quantify its various risk factors using a case-control model. Methods: This case-control study was conducted from January 2012 to March 2013 at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital and Royal Hospital, Muscat. Adult Omani patients with IS who were admitted to either hospital were compared to age- and gender-matched controls. Demographic factors and frequency of various conventional risk factors were documented. Univariate and stepwise multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the risk factors associated with IS. Results: A total of 255 patients and age-and gender-matched controls were included in this study. The mean age was 62.2 ± 13.2 years and 63.14% were male. Most cases (89.02%) were above 45 years of age. Cardio-embolism (31.76%) was the commonest mechanism of IS. Stepwise multiple logistic regression model revealed that family history of stroke was the strongest independent risk factor, followed by hypertension and high-density lipoprotein levels (odds ratio: 10.10, 5.17 and 3.34, respectively; P <0.01 each). Conclusion: Cardio-embolism was the predominant mechanism of IS in this study. Family history of stroke, hypertension and reduced high-density lipoprotein were the leading independent risk factors. Strong emphasis on screening for risk factors, control of hypertension and lifestyle modification for those with a family history of stroke would be expected to emerge as the major stroke-preventive measures in Oman.
Keywords: Ischemic Stroke; Risk Factors; Case-Control Study; Oman.
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