Stroke-Heart Syndrome: Incidence and Clinical Outcomes of Cardiac Complications Following Stroke

Benjamin J.R. Buckley, Stephanie L. Harrison, Andrew Hill, Paula Underhill, Deirdre A. Lane, Gregory Y.H. Lip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The risk of major adverse cardiovascular events is substantially increased following a stroke. Although exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to improve prognosis following cardiac events, it is not part of routine care for people following a stroke. We, therefore, investigated the association between cardiac rehabilitation and major adverse cardiovascular events for people following a stroke. Following a stroke, individuals have an increased risk of new-onset cardiovascular complications. However, the incidence and long-term clinical consequence of newly diagnosed cardiovascular complications following a stroke is unclear. The aim of the present study was to investigate the incidence and long-term clinical outcomes of newly diagnosed cardiovascular complications following incident ischemic stroke. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted using anonymized electronic medical records from 53 participating health care organizations. Patients with incident ischemic stroke aged ≥18 years with 5 years of follow-up were included. Patients who were diagnosed with new-onset cardiovascular complications (heart failure, severe ventricular arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, ischemic heart disease, Takotsubo syndrome) within 4-weeks (exposure) of incident ischemic stroke were 1:1 propensity score-matched (age, sex, ethnicity, comorbidities, cardiovascular care) with ischemic stroke patients who were not diagnosed with a new-onset cardiovascular complication (control). Logistic regression models produced odds ratios (OR) with 95% CIs for 5-year incidence of all-cause mortality, recurrent stroke, hospitalization, and acute myocardial infarction. Results: Of 365 383 patients with stroke with 5-year follow-up: 11.1% developed acute coronary syndrome; 8.8% atrial fibrillation/flutter; 6.4% heart failure; 1.2% severe ventricular arrythmias; and 0.1% Takotsubo syndrome within 4 weeks of incident ischemic stroke. Following propensity score matching, odds of 5-year all-cause mortality were significantly higher in stroke patients with acute coronary syndrome (odds ratio, 1.49 [95% CI, 1.44-1.54]), atrial fibrillation/flutter (1.45 [1.40-1.50]), heart failure (1.83 [1.76-1.91]), and severe ventricular arrhythmias (2.08 [1.90-2.29]), compared with matched controls. Odds of 5-year rehospitalization and acute myocardial infarction were also significantly higher for patients with stroke diagnosed with new-onset cardiovascular complications. Takotsubo syndrome was associated with significantly higher odds of 5-year composite major adverse cardiovascular events (1.89 [1.29-2.77]). Atrial fibrillation/flutter was the only new-onset cardiac complication associated with significantly higher odds of recurrent ischemic stroke at 5 years (1.10 [1.07-1.14]). Conclusions: New-onset cardiovascular complications diagnosed following an ischemic stroke are very common and associate with significantly worse 5-year prognosis in terms of major adverse cardiovascular events. People with stroke and newly diagnosed cardiovascular complications had >50% prevalence of recurrent stroke at 5 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1763
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • acute coronary syndrome
  • arrythmias
  • atrial fibrillation
  • cerebrovascular disorders
  • heart failure
  • ischemic stroke
  • secondary prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing

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