• Vol. 50 No. 1, 16–25
  • 01 January 2021

Long-term outcomes of ischaemic stroke patients with diabetes in a multi-ethnic cohort in Singapore



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Introduction: Diabetes increases the risk of ischaemic stroke especially among Asians. This study aims to investigate contemporaneous long-term cardiovascular outcomes of ischaemic stroke patients with diabetes in a multi-ethnic Asian cohort. Methods: Consecutive patients with ischaemic stroke were recruited from the National University Hospital, Singapore. Data on age, gender, ethnicity, risk factors (including diabetes status and body mass index [BMI]), stroke severity and mechanisms were collected. These patients were followed up until the day of the first cardiovascular event or July 2016, whichever was earlier. The primary endpoint was the time from enrolment to the first occurrence of a composite of cerebrovascular and coronary artery events. Results: Between July 2011 and December 2013, 720 patients (mean age 60.6 years, 71% men, 43% with diabetes, median National Institute Health Stroke Severity scale 2) were enrolled and followed up. A total of 175 cardiovascular events occurred during a median follow-up of 3.25 years (6.90 events per 1,000 person-month), comprising 133 cerebrovascular and 42 coronary artery events. The adjusted hazard ratio of diabetes was 1.50 (95% CI 1.08–2.10). In a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, Malay and Indian ethnicities, BMI <23kg/m2 and a prior diagnosis of diabetes were identified as independent predictors of recurrent cardiovascular events. Conclusion: Our study provides quantitative data on the event rates of ischaemic stroke patients with diabetes. These findings provide insights on stroke predictors in a multi-ethnic Asian population, which may have implications in the design of future interventional studies.

Asia faces an epidemic of diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes in Asia is projected to grow from 114 million in 2007 to 180 million by 2025, driven in part by marked economic and epidemiologic transition in recent decades.1 In China, the prevalence of diabetes rose from 1% in 1980 to 9.7% in 2010, whereas in urban South India, these rates have grown from 13.9% in 2000 to 18.6% in 2006. This pattern has also been mirrored in other Asian countries and territories such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.1 In the Asia Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration, ischaemic stroke was a leading cause of death among Asian patients with diabetes (exceeding coronary artery and renal diseases).

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