Abstract TMP48: Stroke Symptoms and Risk of Future Hospitalization: Implications for an Easy and Quick Screening for an Important Patient-Centered Outcome
Background: Stroke symptoms in the general population are common (≈18% of adults 45+) and are associated with future stroke. These symptoms may also identify a broad spectrum of clinically-undetected vascular conditions.
Methods: Stroke symptoms (sudden weakness, numbness, unilateral or general loss of vision, and loss of ability to communicate or understand) and time to self-reported hospitalization for any cardiovascular (CVD) reason (heart, stroke, or TIA) or stroke were assessed in the REGARDS Study (a national, population-based, longitudinal study of 30,239 African-American and white adults > 45 years enrolled 2003-2007). The symptom-hospitalization association was assessed by proportional hazards analysis in persons stroke/TIA-free at baseline, with adjustment for demographics (age, race and sex), further adjustment for SES (income and education), CVD risk factors (smoking, hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, atrial fibrillation and heart disease), and “perceived health status.”
Results: Over an average follow-up of 5.6 years, presence of any stroke symptom was associated with greater risk of hospitalization for stroke (11% versus 6%; HR = 1.68; 95% CI: 1.52 - 1.85), a risk only modestly attenuated by adjustment for SES (HR = 1.59; 95% CI: 1.44 - 1.76), risk factors (HR = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.29 - 1.60), and perceived health (HR = 1.37; 95% CI: 1.23 - 1.53). However, presence of any stroke symptom was more strongly related to hospitalization for CVD (42% vs. 24%; HR = 1.92; 95 CI: 1.82 - 2.03), only modestly mediated by adjustment for SES (HR = 1.82; 95% CI: 1.73 - 1.93), risk factors (HR = 1.66; 95% CI: 1.57 - 1.76), and perceived health (HR = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.48 - 1.66).
Conclusions: Stroke symptoms appear to be a marker not only for stroke risk, but also for general CVD. Simple questions can identify 18% of the general population that have over a 40% chance of hospitalization for CVD over a 5-year horizon. Implications for potential intervention to reduce risk are profound.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.