Admissions for Stroke Declining

Article excerpt

BOSTON -- Hospitalization for stroke has declined since the mid-1990s, reversing the trend observed in the previous 10 years, according to findings from two studies relying on different databases and presented in separate posters by Dr. Jing Fang and Dr. H. Christian Schumacher at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

The effects were most dramatic for those aged 65 years or older and for those with ischemic or ill-defined stroke.

Dr. Fang analyzed data from the 1988-2004 National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) database, which included information collected annually from a sample of inpatient records acquired from a national sample of hospitals. The number of stroke hospitalizations peaked in 1997 and has been slowly declining ever since, according to Dr. Fang, who is affiliated with the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There were notable reductions in hospitalization rates for those with ischemic strokes and--to a lesser degree--for ill-defined strokes, but no change for hemorrhagic stroke, according to Dr. Fang.

Dr. Schumacher presented data that were derived from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) from 1995 through 2004. The NIS is the largest publicly available database of hospital discharges available in the United States; it utilizes discharge data for approximately 20% of all discharges from nonfederal, acute care hospitals in the nation. …