Background: Alcohol overuse (AO) is considered a cause of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), but the clinical and outcome characteristics of these patients (AO+ICH) are not well known.
Methods: All patients with ICH admitted from January 2005 to June 2015 to a single university tertiary stroke center were prospectively studied and followed up during 5 years. Demographic features, radiological characteristics, and clinical outcome of patients with acute ICH and previous heavy alcohol intake (>40 gr/day or >300 gr/week) were analyzed.
Results: During the study period, 609 patients with ICH were admitted. Nineteen patients were excluded because data on alcohol intake was not available. At admission, 83 patients (13.6%) were identified with AO (22.7% of men vs 2.9% of women; p< 0.0001) and was more frequent in younger patients (mean age, 63.11 years, compared to 72.7 years overall; p< 0.0001). Smoking was associated with AO (63,9% vs 13,8% non-AO; p< 0.0001) but not significant differences were found according with cardiovascular risk factors (dyslipidemia, diabetes and hypertension). ICH score was lower in the AO group (1.3 vs 1.8, p= 0.009) and deep ICH were more frequent (p= 0.036), compared to non-AO. Adjusted by sex, age, and high blood pressure, a trend in favor of increased deep ICH in AO patients remained (HR: 1.68 [95% CI: 0.92-3.05], p= 0.086). Adjusted mortality at 3-month, 12-month, and 5-year follow-up was similar in both groups.
Conclusions: AO was present in 13.6% of ICH patients. These patients were an average of 11.5 years younger, predominantly men, and smokers, compared to the non-AO group. Adjusted short-term and long-term mortality was similar in AO and non-AO groups.