Poststroke Outcomes Vary by Pathogenic Stroke Subtype in The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study
Background and Purpose—Early risk of recurrence and mortality after stroke differs by subtype, but less is known about long-term recurrence and hospital readmissions. These differences have economic implications and will affect long-term disability and stroke survivor quality of life. We examined recurrent stroke, all-cause hospital readmission, and mortality by index pathogenic subtype.
Methods—We identified 987 Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study cohort participants with first-ever stroke and followed them for a median 5.3 years after first stroke. Outcomes were compared across index subtypes (infarction: thrombotic, cardioembolic, and lacunar; hemorrhagic: subarachnoid and intracerebral) using Kaplan–Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusting for age, sex, and race.
Results—There were 183 recurrent strokes among 147 participants, 3234 hospitalizations among 746 participants, and 529 deaths; only 14% of participants were event-free over follow-up. The majority of recurrent events were of the same subtype, except for lacunar infarcts, which were followed ≈3 quarters of the time by nonlacunar events. Adjusted mortality was higher for intracerebral hemorrhage (hazard ratio, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 1.7–3.0) compared with thrombotic stroke and lower for lacunar infarcts. Lacunar infarcts had somewhat higher recurrence compared with thrombotic infarcts (hazard ratio, 1.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.9–1.9), but lower all-cause readmission (hazard ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7–1.0). Readmission was 40% higher for cardioembolic stroke relative to thrombotic stroke (hazard ratio, 1.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–1.7).
Conclusions—Although the highest mortality was observed for intracerebral hemorrhage, there was significant burden of recurrent stroke and hospital readmissions for lacunar and cardioembolic strokes, respectively. There may be opportunities to reduce the relatively high rate of poststroke readmissions.
- Received January 22, 2013.
- Accepted April 22, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.