Background: Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is an independent risk factor for stroke. The reported prevalence of SDB after stroke ranges from 60 to >70%, while the pre-stroke prevalence of SDB is less well described. Moreover, much of these data are derived from ischemic stroke or mixed ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) cohorts. Studies that assess the prevalence of SDB before and after ICH are lacking, with only one prior study (n=32) that reported a post-ICH SDB prevalence of 78%. We report herein the results of a second, larger, prospective study that assessed the prevalence of pre- and post-ICH.
Methods: Participants enrolled in the population-based stroke surveillance study, the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) project, with ICH from 2010-2015 were screened for SDB with the well validated ApneaLink Plus portable monitor (SDB defined as apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) ≥10). The Berlin questionnaire was administered, with reference to the pre-ICH state, to assess for possible pre-stroke SDB.
Results: Of the 60 ICH participants screened, the median age was 63 years (interquartile range (IQR): 55.5, 74.5). Twenty-one (35%) were female, 54 (90%) were Mexican American, and 53 (88%) had a history of hypertension. The median Glasgow Coma Scale score was 15.0 (IQR: 15.0, 15.0) and the median NIHSS was 5.5 (IQR: 1.5, 8.0). Post-ICH, the median AHI was 9.5 (IQR: 5.5, 19.0); almost half (46.7%) met criteria for SDB. Thirty-four participants (56.7%) screened as high risk for SDB pre-ICH.
Conclusion: Sleep-disordered breathing was highly prevalent after ICH, and also likely common before ICH, in this mostly Mexican American, community-based sample. If SDB increases risk for ICH, the findings suggest a potential new treatment target to prevent ICH and recurrent ICH.