Causes and risk factors of non-traumatic sub-arachnoid haemorrhage among patients at Kenyatta National Referral Hospital, Kenya
Kiboi, Julius G
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Background: Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH) has been shown to have a global incidence of 2-49 cases per 100 000 population, and it is associated with a high morbidity and mortality. There is a scarcity of data regarding this condition in Kenya. This paper presents the causes and risk factors for this condition in patients presenting to our hospital. Methods: This descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in Kenyatta National Hospital in Kenya. All patients admitted between December 2010 and March 2011 with a diagnosis of SAH, were included in the study. A total of 55 patients with SAH were recruited in the study. Results: Slightly more females suffered from SAH than men, with a male: female ratio of 1: 1.1. The mean age was 47.6 years with a modal age group being 41-50 years. Intracranial aneurysms were seen in 29% of patients, the commonest location being in the anterior communicating artery (31%). Arterio-venous malformations were seen in 4% of patients. 51% of the patients had poorly controlled hypertension. Other risk factors included alcohol intake (31%), cigarette smoking (15%), and use of hormonal contraceptives was reported in 22% female study subjects. Conclusion: In our population, the commonest cause of spontaneous SAH is aneurysmal bleeds mainly in the anterior circulation. Further, most of the risks involved in causation of SAH are modifiable therefore interventions such as proper blood pressure control should be put in place so as to reduce the burden of this disease.