Stroke characteristics and outcomes in urban Tanzania: Data from the Prospective Lake Zone Stroke Registry.

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)



Stroke is a second leading cause of death globally, with an estimated one in four adults suffering a stroke in their lifetime. We aimed to describe the clinical characteristics, quality of care, and outcomes in adults with stroke in urban Northwestern Tanzania.


We analyzed de-identified data from a prospective stroke registry from Bugando Medical Centre in Mwanza, the second largest city in Tanzania, between March 2020 and October 2022. This registry included all adults ⩾18 years admitted to our hospital who met the World Health Organization clinical definition of stroke. Information collected included demographics, risk factors, stroke severity using the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, brain imaging, indicators for quality of care, discharge modified Rankin Scale, and in-hospital mortality. We examined independent factors associated with mortality using logistic regression.


The cohort included 566 adults, of which 52% (294) were female with a mean age of 65 ± 15 years. The majority had a first-ever stroke 88% (498). Premorbid hypertension was present in 86% (488) but only 41% (200) were taking antihypertensive medications before hospital admission; 6% (32) had HIV infection. Ischemic strokes accounted for 66% (371) but only 6% (22) arriving within 4.5 h of symptom onset. In-hospital mortality was 29% (127). Independent factors associated with mortality were severe stroke (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.47–2.24, p < 0.001), moderate to severe stroke (aOR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.22–1.84, p < 0.001), moderate stroke (aOR = 1.80, 95% CI = 1.52–2.14, p < 0.001), leukocytosis (aOR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.03–1.38, p = 0.022), lack of health insurance coverage (aOR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.02–1.29, p = 0.025), and not receiving any form of venous thromboembolism prophylaxis (aOR = 1.18, 95% CI = 1.02–1.37, p = 0.027).


We report a stroke cohort with poor in-hospital outcomes in urban Northwestern Tanzania. Early diagnosis and treatment of hypertension could prevent stroke in this region. More work is needed to raise awareness about stroke symptoms and to ensure that people with stroke receive guidelines-directed therapy.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International Journal of Stroke