Relationship of Hospitalized Stroke Rate and In-Hospital Mortality to the Decline in US Stroke MortalityHoward G. · Craven T.E. · Sanders L. · Evans G.W.
Departments of Public Health Science and Neurology, and Stroke Center, Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, N.C., USA
Data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey was used to estimate the admission rate and in-hospital mortality for US stroke patients from 1970 to 1987. Over this period the hospital admission rate increased from 5.0 per 1,000 population to 5.5 per 1,000, while the in-hospital mortality fell from 18.6 to 10.0% of discharges. When patients experiencing general or late effects or transient ischemic attacks were excluded, the hospital admission rate increased from 2.8 to 4.8 per 1,000 and in-hospital mortality fell from 26 to 12% of discharges. Admission rates increased from 1970 to 1987 for both hemorrhagic strokes and cerebral infarctions, but fell for ill-defined cerebrovascular events, presumably reflecting increased use of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging during this period. Mortality for hemorrhagic strokes decreased from 45 to 30% of discharges, mortality for infarctions decreased from 24 to 13 % and mortality for ill-defined events fell from 24 to 17%. There are several limitations with the use of the National Hospital Discharge Survey data to estimate changes in hospital admission rates and in-hospital mortality. However, these data suggest a greater role for decreasing case fatality in explaining nationwide declines in stroke mortality rates than has generally been acknowledged.
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