Social media posts about increased risk of stroke with COVID-19 by cardiovascular influencers peaked in May, says GlobalData

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020, social media posts related to COVID-19 from cardiovascular influencers increased significantly, with content peaking in April, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Using GlobalData’s Cardiovascular Influencer database, there were only eight and 36 COVID-19-related posts in January and February, respectively, which increased to over 390 in March. A peak of just under 420 tweets was seen in April, with a decrease in May to 300 posts.

Kathryn Whitney, MSc, Director of Thematic Analysis, comments: “One common topic that cardiovascular influencers discussed in April and May was stroke and COVID-19. In January and February, no posts relating to this topic were seen from key influencers, while, in March, stroke was discussed in just 1% of posts.”

“However, in both April and May, ‘stroke’ was the second highest trending keyword for COVID-19–related posts, appearing in 15% and 18%, respectively.”

Key posts during these months highlighted the increased risk of stroke for patients with severe COVID-19, and in May, tweets noted that young and middle-aged COVID-19 patients were dying of stroke. In addition, a high number of posts in April and May highlighted that stroke and heart attack victims were avoiding hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis.

Whitney concludes: “Unfortunately, as the pandemic continues to rage, hospital staff and researchers are uncovering more worrying manifestations of COVID-19. The increased volume of online conversation about stroke seen from April onwards is in line with the emergence of evidence that severe COVID-19 is a risk factor for acute ischemic stroke.

“As the weeks progressed, there were reports of a significant increase in the numbers of young COVID-19 patients experiencing strokes in hospitals, many of who had no underlying conditions or risk factors. Healthcare professionals must be vigilant and respond quickly to signs of stroke, whereas those recovering from COVID-19 should seek immediate medical attention if they experience any neurological symptoms.”

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