Trends in the hospitalization of ischemic stroke in the United States, 1998-2007

Leslie K Lee, Brian T Bateman, Shuang Wang, H Christian Schumacher, John Pile-Spellman, Gustavo Saposnik
International Journal of Stroke: Official Journal of the International Stroke Society 2012, 7 (3): 195-201

BACKGROUND: The late 1990s/early 2000s was a time of change in both the prevention and acute care of ischemic stroke, with primary prevention driven by increased utilization of antihypertensive, antiplatelet, anticoagulation, and lipid-lowering agents.

AIM: To examine whether ischemic stroke hospitalization rates and outcomes in the United States have changed.

METHOD: We retrospectively identified 894 169 hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of ischemic stroke from 1 January 1998 through to 31 December 2007 in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest all-payer healthcare database in the United States. Annual, national case estimates were combined with US Census data to derive age-adjusted and age-specific population hospitalization rates. Temporal trends were tested using linear regression.

RESULTS: From 1998 through 2007, there were an estimated 4 382 336 ischemic stroke hospitalizations in the United States. Overall, the age-adjusted rate of ischemic stroke hospitalization decreased from 184 to 128 per 100 000 (P < 0·0001). Age-specific rates decreased among those 55+ years old (P < 0·0001), but increased among those 25-34 and 35-44 years old (P < 0·001 and P < 0·0001, respectively). Rates among those <25 and 45-54 years old were unchanged. In-hospital mortality decreased from 7·0% (standard error 0·1) to 5·4% (standard error 0·1) (P < 0·0001). Case proportion at the highest quintile of hospitals by annual caseload increased from 54·0% (standard error 2·1) to 61·8% (standard error 2·0) (P < 0·0001). Mean adjusted hospitalization costs increased from $9273 (standard deviation 199) to $10 524 (standard deviation 77) (P < 0·0001).

CONCLUSION: In 1998 through to 2007, the overall rate of ischemic stroke hospitalization in the United States decreased. However, rates among young adults increased. In-hospital mortality rates decreased over the study period.

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