Abiodun M. Adeoye, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Okechukwu S. Ogah, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Bruce Ovbiagele, Medical University of South Carolina
Rufus Akinyemi, Federal Medical Centre, Nigeria
Vincent Shidali, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
Francis Agyekum, University of Ghana, Ghana
Akinyemi Aje, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Oladimeji Adebayo, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Joshua O. Akinyemi, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Philip Kolo, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Lambert Tetteh Appiah, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana
Henry Iheonye, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
Uwanuruochi Kelechukwu, Federal Medical Center, Nigeria
Amusa Ganiyu, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Taiwo O. Olunuga, Federal Medical Centre, Nigeria
Onoja Akpa, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Ojo Olakanmi Olagoke, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Fred Stephen Sarfo, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Ghana
Kolawole Wahab, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Samuel Olowookere, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria
Adekunle Fakunle, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Albert Akpalu, University of Ghana, Ghana
Philip B. Adebayo, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria
Kwadwo Nkromah, University of Ghana, Ghana
Joseph Yaria, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Philip Ibinaiye, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
Godwin Ogbole, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Aridegbe Olumayowa, Sacred Heart Hospital, Nigeria
Sulaiman Lakoh, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Benedict Calys-Tagoe, University of Ghana, Ghana
Donna K. Arnett, University of KentuckyFollow



Africa has a growing burden of stroke with associated high morbidity and a 3-year fatality rate of 84%. Cardiac disease contributes to stroke occurrence and outcomes, but the precise relationship of abnormalities as noted on a cheap and widely available test, the electrocardiogram (ECG), and acute stroke outcomes have not been previously characterized in Africans.


The study assessed the prevalence and prognoses of various ECG abnormalities among African acute stroke patients encountered in a multisite, cross-national epidemiologic study.


We included 890 patients from Nigeria and Ghana with acute stroke who had 12-lead ECG recording within first 24 h of admission and stroke classified based on brain computed tomography scan or magnetic resonance imaging. Stroke severity at baseline was assessed using the Stroke Levity Scale (SLS), whereas 1-month outcome was assessed using the modified Rankin Scale (mRS).


Patients' mean age was 58.4 ± 13.4 years, 490 were men (55%) and 400 were women (45%), 65.5% had ischemic stroke, and 85.4% had at least 1 ECG abnormality. Women were significantly more likely to have atrial fibrillation, or left ventricular hypertrophy with or without strain pattern. Compared to ischemic stroke patients, hemorrhagic stroke patients were less likely to have atrial fibrillation (1.0% vs. 6.7%; p = 0.002), but more likely to have left ventricular hypertrophy (64.4% vs. 51.4%; p = 0.004). Odds of severe disability or death at 1 month were higher with severe stroke (AOR: 2.25; 95% confidence interval: 1.44 to 3.50), or atrial enlargement (AOR: 1.45; 95% confidence interval: 1.04 to 2.02).


About 4 in 5 acute stroke patients in this African cohort had evidence of a baseline ECG abnormality, but presence of any atrial enlargement was the only independent ECG predictor of death or disability.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in Global Heart, v. 12, issue 2, p. 99-105.

© 2017 World Heart Federation (Geneva). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This manuscript version is made available under the CC‐BY‐NC‐ND 4.0 license

The document available for download is the authors’ post-peer-review final draft of the article. Its title is “Prevalence and Prognostic features of Electrocardiographic Abnormalities in Acute Stroke among Africans: Findings from SIREN.”

Due to the large number of authors, only the first 30 and the authors affiliated with the University of Kentucky are listed in the author section above. For the complete list of authors, please download this article or visit:

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

This work is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) (Grant 1U54HG007479).