Stroke is often preceded by transient symptoms. Although global stroke rates have been shown to be declining, previous studies have reported inconsistent temporal trends of transient ischemic attacks (TIA). The objective of the current study is to report the temporal trends of TIA admissions and outcomes in Canada over the last 11 years.
We conducted a complete population cohort study using a national administrative database to study the temporal trend of age- and sex-adjusted TIA admission rates in Canada from 2003 to 2013. We also determined the rates of TIA and stroke diagnoses in the emergency department in the province of Ontario during the same period. We used multivariable analyses to study discharge location after acute hospitalization as well as 90-day stroke and/or TIA readmission rates.
Of 425,799 admissions to an acute care hospital for all stroke and TIA, 71,443 (16.8%) were TIA. The age- and sex-standardized rates of TIA admission decreased significantly during the study period from 30.0 to 20.6 per 100,000 (p<0.0001). In Ontario, decreasing TIA admissions is mirrored by decreasing rates of TIA directly discharged from the emergency department (55.1 to 46.8 per 100,000, p = 0.002). The odds of 90-day readmission rates for stroke or TIA are also decreasing (adjusted odds ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.96-0.99).
We show that TIA admission rates have declined in the past 11 years in Canada, reflecting improved vascular risk reduction and stroke care. Future studies to confirm our findings on improved stroke or TIA recurrence rates are necessary.