Risk of stroke in patients with dengue fever: a population-based cohort study

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Stroke is a severe neurologic complication of dengue fever, described in only a few case reports. The incidence and risk factors for stroke in patients with dengue remain unclear. We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study to investigate the risk of stroke in patients with dengue.


Using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, we included a total of 13 787 patients with dengue newly diagnosed between 2000 and 2012. The control cohort consisted of patients who did not have dengue, matched 1:1 by demographic characteristics and stroke-related comorbidities. We calculated the cumulative incidences and hazard ratios (HRs) of stroke in both cohorts using Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards regression.


The overall incidence rate of stroke was 5.33 per 1000 person-years in the dengue cohort and 3.72 per 1000 person-years in the control cohort, with an adjusted HR of 1.16 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01–1.32). The risk of stroke among patients with dengue was highest in the first 2 months after diagnosis (25.53 per 1000 person-years, adjusted HR 2.49, 95% CI 1.48–4.18).


Dengue fever was associated with an increased risk of stroke in the first few months after diagnosis. The effect of dengue on stroke may be acute rather than chronic.

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