Changes in survival and characteristics among older stroke unit patients-1994 versus 2012
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLabberton, A. S., Rønning, O. M., Thommessen, B., & Barra, M. (2019). Changes in survival and characteristics among older stroke unit patients—1994 versus 2012. Brain and behavior, 9(1), e01175. https://doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1175
Objectives Treatment on organized stroke units (SUs) improves survival after stroke, and stroke mortality has decreased worldwide in recent decades; however, little is known of survival trends among SU patients specifically. This study investigates changes in survival and characteristics of older stroke patients receiving SU treatment. Materials & Methods We compared 3‐year all‐cause mortality and baseline characteristics in two cohorts of stroke patients aged ≥60 consecutively admitted to the same comprehensive SU in 1994 (n = 271) and 2012 (n = 546). Results Three‐year survival was 53.9% in 1994 and 56.0% in 2012, and adjusted hazard ratio (HR) was 0.99 (95% CI: 0.77–1.28). Adjusted 30‐day case fatality was slightly higher in 2012, 18.9% versus 16.2%, HR 1.68 (95% CI: 1.14–2.47). There were no significant between‐cohort differences in survival beyond 30 days. Patients in 2012 were older (mean age: 78.8 vs. 76.7 years) and more often admitted from nursing homes. There were higher rates of atrial fibrillation (33.7% vs. 21.4%) and malignancy (19.2% vs. 8.9%), and prescription of antiplatelets (46.9% vs. 26.2%) and warfarin (16.3% vs. 5.5%) at admission. Stroke severity was significantly milder in 2012, proportion with mild stroke 66.1% versus 44.3%. Conclusions Three‐year survival in older Norwegian stroke patients treated on an SU remained stable despite improved treatment in the last decades. Differences in background characteristics may explain this lack of difference; patients in 2012 were older, more often living in supported care, and had higher prestroke comorbidity; however, their strokes were milder and risk factors more often treated.