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Cognitive and functional impairment after stroke are common, but the relation between cognitive and functional decline after stroke is not well studied.
We used the comprehensive cohort in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging to identify those with prior stroke, and we calculated reliable cognitive change scores from baseline to follow-up for the memory and executive domains. Functional decline was defined as an increase in the number of dependent daily activities. Using formal mediation analysis, we tested the presence and degree of mediation of the association between stroke and functional decline by cognitive decline.
There were 22,648 individuals with memory change scores (325 with stroke) and 17,613 individuals with executive change scores (241 with stroke). History of stroke was significantly associated with memory decline (−0.26 standard deviations, 95% CI −0.33 to −0.19), executive decline (−0.22, 95% CI −0.36 to −0.09), and new functional impairment (adjusted odds ratio 2.31, 95% CI 1.80–2.97) over a median of 3-year follow-up. Cognitive decline was a significant mediator of functional decline. Memory decline mediated only 5% of the relationship, whereas executive and overall cognitive decline mediated 13% and 22%, respectively.
Cognitive decline is a mediator of the association between prior stroke and functional decline; consequently, strategies to delay, attenuate, or prevent cognitive decline after stroke may be important to preserving long-term functional status.
Although age-standardized stroke occurrence has been decreasing, the absolute number of stroke events globally, and in Canada, is increasing. Stroke surveillance is necessary for health services planning, informing research design, and public health messaging. We used administrative data to estimate the number of stroke events resulting in hospital or emergency department presentation across Canada in the 2017–18 fiscal year.
Hospitalization data were obtained from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) Discharge Abstract Database and the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Quebec. Emergency department data were obtained from the CIHI National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (Alberta and Ontario). Stroke events were identified using ICD-10 coding. Data were linked into episodes of care to account for readmissions and interfacility transfers. Projections for emergency department visits for provinces/territories outside of Alberta and Ontario were generated based upon age and sex-standardized estimates from Alberta and Ontario.
In the 2017–18 fiscal year, there were 108,707 stroke events resulting in hospital or emergency department presentation across the country. This was made up of 54,357 events resulting in hospital admission and 54,350 events resulting in only emergency department presentation. The events resulting in only emergency department presentation consisted of 25,941 events observed in Alberta and Ontario and a projection of 28,409 events across the rest of the country.
We estimate a stroke event resulting in hospital or emergency department presentation occurs every 5 minutes in Canada.
The Passive Surveillance Stroke Severity (PaSSV) Indicator was derived to estimate stroke severity from variables in administrative datasets but has not been externally validated.
We used linked administrative datasets to identify patients with first hospitalization for acute stroke between 2007-2018 in Alberta, Canada. We used the PaSSV indicator to estimate stroke severity. We used Cox proportional hazard models and evaluated the change in hazard ratios and model discrimination for 30-day and 1-year case fatality with and without PaSSV. Similar comparisons were made for 90-day home time thresholds using logistic regression. We also linked with a clinical registry to obtain National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and compared estimates from models without stroke severity, with PaSSV, and with NIHSS.
There were 28,672 patients with acute stroke in the full sample. In comparison to no stroke severity, addition of PaSSV to the 30-day case fatality models resulted in improvement in model discrimination (C-statistic 0.72 [95%CI 0.71–0.73] to 0.80 [0.79–0.80]). After adjustment for PaSSV, admission to a comprehensive stroke center was associated with lower 30-day case fatality (adjusted hazard ratio changed from 1.03 [0.96–1.10] to 0.72 [0.67–0.77]). In the registry sample (N = 1328), model discrimination for 30-day case fatality improved with the inclusion of stroke severity. Results were similar for 1-year case fatality and home time outcomes.
Addition of PaSSV improved model discrimination for case fatality and home time outcomes. The validity of PASSV in two Canadian provinces suggests that it is a useful tool for baseline risk adjustment in acute stroke.
Excess sleep is associated with higher risk of stroke, but whether the risk is modified by age and if it remains elevated after accounting for the competing risk of death is not well understood.
We used nine years of the Canadian Community Health Survey between 2000 to 2016 to obtain self-reported sleep duration and created a cohort of individuals without prior stroke, heart disease, or cancer. We linked to hospital records to determine subsequent admissions or emergency department visits for acute stroke until December 31, 2017. We used Cox proportional hazard models to determine the association between sleep duration and risk of stroke, assessing for modification by age and sex and adjusting for demographic, vascular, and social factors. We obtained cumulative incidence of stroke accounting for the competing risk of death.
There were 82,795 individuals in our cohort who met inclusion criteria and had self-reported sleep duration, with 1705 stroke events in follow-up. There was an association between excess sleep (≥10 h/night) and risk of stroke in those <70 years (fully adjusted hazard ratio 2.29, 95% CI 1.04–5.06), but not ≥70 years of age, with a similar association after accounting for the competing risk of death.
Sleep duration ≥10 h/night is associated with increased risk of stroke in those <70 years of age. The findings support current guidelines for 7–9 h of sleep per night. Further research is needed to elucidate the relationship between sleep and cerebrovascular disease.
Health utility instruments are increasingly being used to measure impairment in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) after stroke. Population-based studies of HRQoL after stroke and assessment of differences by age and functional domain are needed.
We used the Canadian Community Health Survey linked with administrative databases to determine HRQoL using the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3) among those with prior hospitalization or emergency department visit for stroke and compared to controls without stroke. We used multivariable linear regression to determine the difference in HUI3 between those with stroke and controls for the global index and individual attributes, with assessment for modification by age (<60, 60–74, and 75+ years) and sex, and we combined estimates across survey years using random effects meta-analysis.
Our cohort contained 1240 stroke survivors and 123,765 controls and was weighted to be representative of the Canadian household population. Mean health utility was 0.63 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.58, 0.68) for those with stroke and 0.83 (95% CI 0.82, 0.84) for controls. There was significant modification by age, but not sex, with the greatest adjusted reduction in HUI3 among stroke respondents aged 60–74 years. Individual HUI3 attributes with the largest reductions in utility among stroke survivors compared to controls were mobility, cognition, emotion, and pain.
In this population-based study, the reduction in HUI3 among stroke survivors compared to controls was greatest among respondents aged 60–74, and in attributes of mobility, cognition, emotion, and pain. These results highlight the persistent impairment of HRQoL in the chronic phase of stroke and potential targets for community support.
Contemporary data on temporal trends in acute stroke incidence, specific to stroke type and age, are lacking. We sought to evaluate temporal trends in incidence of ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage over 15 years in a large population.
We used linked administrative data to identify all emergency department visits and hospital admissions for first-ever ischemic stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage in Ontario, Canada from 2003–2017. We evaluated annual age-/sex-standardized incidence per 100,000 person-years for ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage across the study period. We used negative binomial regression to determine incidence rate ratios for each year compared to 2003, with assessment of modification by age, sex, or stroke type.
Our cohort had 163,574 people with stroke (88% ischemic stroke). For ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage combined, age-/sex-standardized incidence decreased between 2003 and 2011 (standardized rate 109.4 to 85.8 per 100,000; 22%), then increased until 2017 (standardized rate 96.8 per 100,000; 13%). The pattern of change was similar for ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage, and for men and women, but was modified by age. For those aged 60 and above, adjusted incidence rate ratios decreased from 2003 to 2011 then subsequently increased, whereas for those aged <60 years incidence rate ratios increased throughout the entire study time period, particularly after 2011.
Acute stroke incidence decreased from 2003 to 2011 but subsequently increased until 2017. Among those aged <60, incidence increased continuously from 2003 to 2017 but especially after 2011. The underlying reasons for these changes should be determined.
Background: The relationship between timing of direct enteral feeding tube (DET; gastrostomy/jejunostomy) placement and outcomes after stroke is unknown. Methods: We used the Ontario Stroke Registry and linked administrative databases to identify patients with acute stroke between 2003-2013 who received DET during hospital admission. We used multiple logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models to determine the association between time from admission to DET placement and outcomes of severe disability at discharge (modified Rankin Scale score 4-5) and 30-day mortality after DET placement, adjusting for age, sex, co-morbidities, stroke type, stroke severity, intensive care or stroke unit admission, palliation, and hospital type. Results: 1,342 patients met our inclusion criteria. There was a lower hazard of 30-day mortality for each week in delay to DET placement (adjusted HR 0.89, 95%CI 0.80 to 0.99), but higher odds of severe disability (adjusted OR 1.36, 95%CI 1.14 to 1.62). Patients with DET placement within 1 week had the highest 30-day mortality compared to subsequent weeks (adjusted HR 1.59, 95%CI 1.05 to 2.4). Conclusions: Delayed DET placement after stroke is associated with lower 30-day mortality but greater disability. Thirty-day mortality was highest in those who received DET within 1 week of admission. These associations may inform decisions regarding timing of DET placement after stroke.
Background: Dysphagia is a devastating complication of stroke and can lead to malnutrition, immobility, aspiration pneumonia, and death. Guidelines advocate screening all patients with acute stroke for swallowing impairment. However, previous research suggests only 60% are screened, and it is unclear what factors contribute to receiving dysphagia screening. Methods: We used the Ontario Stroke Registry to identify patients who were admitted to Regional Stroke Centres from 2010-2013. We used multivariable regression to identify predictors of receiving a dysphagia screen within 72 hours. Results: Among 7172 patients with acute ischemic stroke, 1705 patients (23.8%) did not undergo screening. Factors increasing the odds of being tested were: Stroke unit admission (adjusted odds ratio aOR 6.5), presenting with speech deficits (aOR 1.9) or weakness (aOR 1.5), or receiving thrombolysis (aOR 1.9). Seizure (aOR 0.49) and mild stroke (aOR 0.59 vs moderate stroke) decreased the odds of being tested. Among those with mild strokes who received a swallowing screen, 33% failed. *All p<0.0001. Conclusions: Patients with mild stroke are at risk of not being screened for dysphagia, despite a significant fail rate among those tested. This may expose untested patients to a higher risk of complications from dysphagia, and suggests a gap in process of care that should be addressed.
Background: Bedside dysphagia screening is recommended for all patients with acute ischemic stroke, in order to detect swallowing impairment early and prevent complications. However, limited data are available on outcomes associated with failing a dysphagia screen. Methods: We used the Ontario Stroke Registry to identify patients who were admitted to Regional Stroke Centres from 2010-2013 and received a dysphagia screen within 72 hours. We used multivariable regression to determine outcomes of patients who failed the dysphagia screen. Results: Among 5145 patients who underwent dysphagia screening, 2458 (47.8%) failed and 2687 (52.2%) passed. Patients who failed had more co-morbidities and presented with more severe strokes (mean NIHSS 11.0 vs. 5.4). Among those who failed, 9% required permanent feeding tubes, versus 0.1% among those who passed. After controlling for age, co-morbidities, and stroke severity, failing a bedside swallowing screen remained highly predictive of poor outcomes, including decubitus ulcer (adjusted odds ratio aOR 10.5), pneumonia (aOR 4.6), discharge to long-term care (aOR 4.1) and 30-day mortality (aOR 4.5; 16.6% vs. 2.2%). *All p <0.0001 Conclusions: Patients who failed a dysphagia screen on admission had dramatically worse outcomes after controlling for baseline factors. A bedside dysphagia screen provides immediate risk stratification for acute stroke patients and can be used to guide appropriate care.
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