Leucocyte count in young adults with first-ever ischaemic stroke: associated factors and association on prognosis


  • Conflict of interest: None declared.



Limited data exist on the associated factors and correlation of leucocyte count to outcome in young adults with first-ever ischaemic stroke.


Our objectives were to investigate factors associated with elevated leucocyte count and whether there is correlation between leucocyte count and short- and long-term outcomes.


Of our database of 1008 consecutive patients aged 15 to 49, we included those with leucocyte count measured within the first two days from stroke onset. Outcomes were three-month and long-term disability, death, and vascular events. Linear regression was used to explore baseline variables associated with leucocyte count. Logistic regression and Cox proportional models studied the association between leucocyte count and clinical outcomes.


In our study cohort of 781 patients (61·7% males; mean age 41·4 years), mean leucocyte count was high: 8·8 ± 3·1 × 109 cells/L (Reference range: 3·4–8·2 × 109 cells/L). Higher leucocyte levels were associated with dyslipidaemia, smoking, peripheral arterial disease, stroke severity, and lesion size. After adjustment for age, gender, relevant risk factors, both continuous leucocyte count and the highest quartile of leucocyte count were independently associated with unfavourable three-month outcome. Regarding events in the long-term (follow-up 8·1 ± 4·2 years in survivors), no association between leucocyte count and the event risks appeared.


Among young stroke patients, high leucocyte count was a common finding. It was associated with vascular disease and its risk factors as well as severity of stroke, but it was also independently associated with unfavourable three-month outcome in these patients. There was no association with the long-term outcome.

[Correction added on 31 October 2013 after first online publication: In the Results section of the Abstract, the cohort of 797 patients in this study was corrected to 781 patients.]