COVID-19 Digest: Strokes in Young People with COVID - The Emergency Medical Minute

COVID-19 Digest: Strokes in Young People with COVID

Host: Elizabeth Esty, MD

Last week we looked at neurologic presentations of COVID-19; this week we’ll look more closely at strokes in young people with COVID. A letter published 2 days ago in the NEJM with lead author Thomas Oxley, the Neuro ICU director at Mt Sinai, presents five case studies of relatively young patients who had strokes at home and presented to Mt Sinai between 23 March and 7 April. In pre-COVID days, Mt Sinai saw on about 3 patients under the age of 50 with strokes per month, so 5 in 2 weeks represents a 7-fold increase. The authors call this one of the clearest and most profound correlations” they’ve come across. Though strokes in other COVID case reports are also occurring in older patients, other centers are reporting similar increases in young people with few or no risk factors presenting with major strokes. Right now there are at least 3 US centers preparing to publish data on the stroke in young people phenomenon.

Research By: Elizabeth Esty and Nate Novotny

Sound Editing By: Stephen Bahmani


  1. Oxley TJ, Mocco J, Majidi S, et al. Large-Vessel Stroke as a Presenting Feature of Covid-19 in the Young. New England Journal of Medicine. 2020;0(0):e60. doi:10.1056/NEJMc2009787
  2. Cha AE. Young and middle-aged people, barely sick with covid-19, are dying of strokes. Washington Post. Published April 25, 2020.
  3. Klok FA, Kruip MJHA, van der Meer NJM, et al. Incidence of thrombotic complications in critically ill ICU patients with COVID-19. Thromb Res. April 2020. doi:10.1016/j.thromres.2020.04.013

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