Characteristics and Outcomes of Very Elderly Enrolled in a Prehospital Stroke Research Study
Background and Purpose—Greater numbers of individuals aged ≥80 years enjoy a high quality of life, yet historically stroke trials have excluded this population. We aimed to describe a population of very elderly successfully enrolled into an acute stroke trial and compare their characteristics and outcomes with the younger cohort.
Methods—We analyzed consecutive patients enrolled <2 hours of symptom onset in a prehospital stroke treatment trial, the FAST-MAG clinical trial (Field Administration of Stroke Therapy-Magnesium). We gathered demographic, treatment, and outcome data for nonelderly (<80 years old), very elderly (≥80 years old), and extreme elderly (≥90 years old). We describe key differences in the population of elderly and the impact of their inclusion on the clinical trial.
Results—Of 1700 participants in FAST-MAG, there were 1210 nonelderly, 490 very elderly, and 60 extreme elderly subjects. Very elderly stroke patients successfully enrolled in a research study were more likely to be women, white, and have an ischemic mechanism rather than an intracerebral hemorrhage. Although the very elderly had generally poorer outcomes, 4 in 10 were functionally independent at 90 days.
Conclusions—Inclusion of the very elderly population in acute stroke clinical trials would both significantly increase study participation and generalizability of future acute stroke clinical trials.
- Received February 29, 2016.
- Revision received July 11, 2016.
- Accepted July 19, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.