Time Trends in Patient Characteristics Treated on Acute Stroke-Units
Results From the Austrian Stroke Unit Registry 2003–2011
Background and Purpose—Demographic changes, increased awareness of vascular risk factors, better diagnostic, progress in medical care, and increasing primary stroke prevention influence the profile of patients admitted to stroke-units. Changes in patient population and stroke type have important consequences on outcome and management at stroke-units.
Methods—Data from the national database of the Austrian Stroke Unit Registry were analyzed for time-trends in demography, risk factors, cause, and stroke severity.
Results—Data of 48 038 ischemic and 5088 hemorrhagic strokes were analyzed. Between 2003 and 2011, median age increased significantly for ischemic strokes from 68 to 71 years in men and from 76 to 78 years in women, respectively.
Ischemic stroke patients showed significantly increased rates of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and atrial fibrillation. In hemorrhagic strokes an increase for hypercholesterolemia and cardiac diseases other than atrial fibrillation and myocardial infarction were only found in men. A small but significant decrease in stroke severity was found for ischemic strokes from 4 to 3 points on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale in men and from 5 to 4 in women, and for hemorrhagic strokes from 9 to 6 points in men and from 9 to 7 in women. Cardioembolic strokes increased slightly, whereas macroangiopathy decreased.
Conclusions—Significant time trends were seen for characteristics of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke patients admitted to acute stroke-units in Austria. These include trends for older age and toward milder strokes with more cardioembolic causes. This signals a need for increased resources for managing multimorbidity and enabling early mobilization.
- Received September 6, 2012.
- Accepted December 28, 2012.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.