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Bener A, Hamad A, Fares A, Al-Sayed HM, Al-Suwaidi J
Correspondence: Professor Abdulbari Bener, email@example.com
Introduction Over one billion Muslims fast worldwide during the month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramadan is a radical change in lifestyle for the period of a lunar month. The objective of this study was to investigate whether Ramadan fasting has any effect on the incidence of stroke and its outcome in a geographically-defined population.
Methods We retrospectively reviewed a 13-year stroke database and studied the data on Muslim patients who were hospitalised with stroke over a 13-year period from January 1991 to December 2003. Patients were divided according to the time of presentation in relation to the month of Ramadan, one month before, during, and one month after Ramadan. The number of hospitalisations for stroke in various time periods was analysed. The age of presentation, gender, cardiovascular risk factor profiles (smoking status, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes mellitus, and pre-existing cardiovascular disease) were analysed. We also studied the trends of in-hospital mortality, morbidity and acute medical care provided.
Results Overall, 335 Muslim patients were hospitalised for stroke. Their mean age and standard deviation were 56.99 and 13.9 years, respectively. The number of hospitalisations for stroke was not significantly different in the month of Ramadan (29 cases), when compared to the month before Ramadan (30 cases) and the month after Ramadan (29 cases). Risk factors included for stroke were not significantly different in Ramadan when compared to the month before and after Ramadan. These associated diseases were hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolaemia, acute myocardial infarction, and congestive heart failure.
Conclusion This study demonstrated that no significant difference was found in the number of hospitalisations for stroke while fasting during the month of Ramadan when compared to the non-fasting months.
Keywords: cerebrovascular accident, fasting, Ramadan fasting, stroke
Singapore Med J 2006; 47(5): 404-408