Startling Stroke Statistics

Study shows large number of stroke patients returning to hospital or dying

(RxWiki News) A study recently published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association reports alarming statistics concerning Medicare stroke patients.

According to the study, nearly 62 percent of Medicare recipients who are hospitalized for ischemic stroke are either re-hospitalized or die within one year.

Ischemic strokes, which represent 87 percent of all strokes, are caused by clotting of the blood supply to the brain.

Greg C. Fonarow, M.D., professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles and lead author of the study, and colleagues analyzed more than 91,000 outcomes of ischemic stroke cases. Their results show a 15 percent in-hospital mortality rate for ischemic stroke patients within 30 days of hospitalization. What's more, that mortality rate increases to 30 percent within one year of hospitalization.

According to Fonarow, his team's findings should encourage hospital administrations to reconfigure current practices. He recommends that hospitals improve programs that focus on outcomes at all stages of treatment, from admission to long after stroke victims leave the hospital.

Overall, this study suggests that hospital care for Medicare stroke victims needs vast improvements that look beyond the patient's initial admission.

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Review Date: 
December 29, 2010