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Improvements in management of transient ischemic attack (TIA) have decreased stroke and mortality post-TIA. Studies examining trends over time on a provincial level are limited. We analyzed whether efforts to improve management have decreased the rate of stroke and mortality after TIA from 2003 to 2015 across an entire province.
Using administrative data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s (CIHI) databases from 2003 to 2015, we identified a cohort of patients with a diagnosis of TIA upon discharge from the emergency department (ED). We examined stroke rates at Day 1, 2, 7, 30, 90, 180, and 365 post-TIA and 1-year mortality rates and compared trends over time between 2003 and 2015.
From 2003 to 2015 in Ontario, there were 61,710 patients with an ED diagnosis of TIA. Linear regressions of stroke after the index TIA showed a significant decline between 2003 and 2015, decreasing by 25% at Day 180 and 32% at 1 year (p < 0.01). The 1-year stroke rate decreased from 6.0% in 2003 to 3.4% in 2015. Early (within 48 h) stroke after TIA continued to represent approximately half of the 1-year event rates. The 1-year mortality rate after ED discharge following a TIA decreased from 1.3% in 2003 to 0.3% in 2015 (p < 0.001).
At a province-wide level, 1-year rates of stroke and mortality after TIA have declined significantly between 2003 and 2015, suggesting that efforts to improve management may have contributed toward the decline in long-term risk of stroke and mortality. Continued efforts are needed to further reduce the immediate risk of stroke following a TIA.
Delayed presentation to the emergency department influences acute stroke care and can result in worse outcomes. Despite public health messaging, many young adults consider stroke as a disease of older people. We determined the differences in ambulance utilization and delays to hospital presentation between women and men as well as younger (18–44 years) versus older (≥45 years) patients with stroke.
We conducted a population-based retrospective study using national administrative health data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information databases and examined data between 2003 and 2016 to compare ambulance utilization and time to hospital presentation across sex and age.
Young adults account for 3.9% of 463,310 stroke/transient ischemic attack/hemorrhage admissions. They have a higher proportion of hemorrhage (37% vs. 15%) and fewer ischemic events (50% vs. 68%) compared with older patients. Younger patients are less likely to arrive by ambulance (62% vs. 66%, p < 0.001), with younger women least likely to use ambulance services (61%) and older women most likely (68%). Median stroke onset to hospital arrival times were 7 h for older patients and younger men, but 9 h in younger women. There has been no improvement among young women in ambulance utilization since 2003, whereas ambulance use increased in all other groups.
Younger adults, especially younger women, are less likely to use ambulance services, take longer to get to hospital, and have not improved in utilization of emergency services for stroke over 13 years. Targeted public health messaging is required to ensure younger adults seek emergency stroke care.
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