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      Admission Rates, Time Trends, Risk Factors, and Outcomes of Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke From German Nationwide Data

      , MB BCh, BAO, MSc, DPhil, MRCPI , , MSc, , MD, PhD, FMedSci, , MD, PhD, , PhD
      Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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          Background and Objectives

          In the past decade, there have been major improvements in the control of risk factors, acute stroke therapies, and rehabilitation after the availability of high-quality evidence and guidelines on best practices in the acute phase. In this changing landscape, we aimed to investigate the stroke admission rates, time trends, risk factors, and outcomes during the period of 2014–2019 using German nationwide data.


          We obtained data of all acute stroke hospitalizations by the Federal Statistical Office. All hospitalized cases of adults (age 18 years or older) with acute stroke from the years 2014–2019 were analyzed regarding time trends, risk factors, treatments, morbidity, and in-hospital mortality according to stroke subtype (all-cause/ischemic/hemorrhagic).


          Between 2014 and 2019, overall stroke hospitalizations in adults (median age = 76 years, [IQR: 65–83 years]) initially increased from 306,425 in 2014 to peak at 318,849 in 2017 before falling to again to 312,692 in 2019, whereas percentage stroke hospitalizations that resulted in death remained stable during this period at 8.5% in 2014 and 8.6% in 2019. In a multivariate model of 1,882,930 cases, the strongest predictors of in-hospital stroke mortality were hemorrhagic subtype (adjusted OR [aOR] = 3.06, 95% CI 3.02–3.10; p < 0.001), cancer (aOR = 2.11, 2.06–2.16; p < 0.001), congestive heart failure (aOR = 1.70, 1.67–1.73; p < 0.001), and lower extremity arterial disease (aOR = 1.76, 1.67–1.84; p < 0.001).


          Despite recent advances in acute stroke care over the past decade, the percentage of stroke hospitalizations resulting in death remained unchanged. Further research is needed to determine how best to optimize stroke care pathways for multimorbid patients.

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          Most cited references47

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          Global burden of 87 risk factors in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

          Summary Background Rigorous analysis of levels and trends in exposure to leading risk factors and quantification of their effect on human health are important to identify where public health is making progress and in which cases current efforts are inadequate. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) 2019 provides a standardised and comprehensive assessment of the magnitude of risk factor exposure, relative risk, and attributable burden of disease. Methods GBD 2019 estimated attributable mortality, years of life lost (YLLs), years of life lived with disability (YLDs), and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) for 87 risk factors and combinations of risk factors, at the global level, regionally, and for 204 countries and territories. GBD uses a hierarchical list of risk factors so that specific risk factors (eg, sodium intake), and related aggregates (eg, diet quality), are both evaluated. This method has six analytical steps. (1) We included 560 risk–outcome pairs that met criteria for convincing or probable evidence on the basis of research studies. 12 risk–outcome pairs included in GBD 2017 no longer met inclusion criteria and 47 risk–outcome pairs for risks already included in GBD 2017 were added based on new evidence. (2) Relative risks were estimated as a function of exposure based on published systematic reviews, 81 systematic reviews done for GBD 2019, and meta-regression. (3) Levels of exposure in each age-sex-location-year included in the study were estimated based on all available data sources using spatiotemporal Gaussian process regression, DisMod-MR 2.1, a Bayesian meta-regression method, or alternative methods. (4) We determined, from published trials or cohort studies, the level of exposure associated with minimum risk, called the theoretical minimum risk exposure level. (5) Attributable deaths, YLLs, YLDs, and DALYs were computed by multiplying population attributable fractions (PAFs) by the relevant outcome quantity for each age-sex-location-year. (6) PAFs and attributable burden for combinations of risk factors were estimated taking into account mediation of different risk factors through other risk factors. Across all six analytical steps, 30 652 distinct data sources were used in the analysis. Uncertainty in each step of the analysis was propagated into the final estimates of attributable burden. Exposure levels for dichotomous, polytomous, and continuous risk factors were summarised with use of the summary exposure value to facilitate comparisons over time, across location, and across risks. Because the entire time series from 1990 to 2019 has been re-estimated with use of consistent data and methods, these results supersede previously published GBD estimates of attributable burden. Findings The largest declines in risk exposure from 2010 to 2019 were among a set of risks that are strongly linked to social and economic development, including household air pollution; unsafe water, sanitation, and handwashing; and child growth failure. Global declines also occurred for tobacco smoking and lead exposure. The largest increases in risk exposure were for ambient particulate matter pollution, drug use, high fasting plasma glucose, and high body-mass index. In 2019, the leading Level 2 risk factor globally for attributable deaths was high systolic blood pressure, which accounted for 10·8 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 9·51–12·1) deaths (19·2% [16·9–21·3] of all deaths in 2019), followed by tobacco (smoked, second-hand, and chewing), which accounted for 8·71 million (8·12–9·31) deaths (15·4% [14·6–16·2] of all deaths in 2019). The leading Level 2 risk factor for attributable DALYs globally in 2019 was child and maternal malnutrition, which largely affects health in the youngest age groups and accounted for 295 million (253–350) DALYs (11·6% [10·3–13·1] of all global DALYs that year). The risk factor burden varied considerably in 2019 between age groups and locations. Among children aged 0–9 years, the three leading detailed risk factors for attributable DALYs were all related to malnutrition. Iron deficiency was the leading risk factor for those aged 10–24 years, alcohol use for those aged 25–49 years, and high systolic blood pressure for those aged 50–74 years and 75 years and older. Interpretation Overall, the record for reducing exposure to harmful risks over the past three decades is poor. Success with reducing smoking and lead exposure through regulatory policy might point the way for a stronger role for public policy on other risks in addition to continued efforts to provide information on risk factor harm to the general public. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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            Global, regional, and national burden of stroke and its risk factors, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019

            Summary Background Regularly updated data on stroke and its pathological types, including data on their incidence, prevalence, mortality, disability, risk factors, and epidemiological trends, are important for evidence-based stroke care planning and resource allocation. The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) aims to provide a standardised and comprehensive measurement of these metrics at global, regional, and national levels. Methods We applied GBD 2019 analytical tools to calculate stroke incidence, prevalence, mortality, disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs), and the population attributable fraction (PAF) of DALYs (with corresponding 95% uncertainty intervals [UIs]) associated with 19 risk factors, for 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2019. These estimates were provided for ischaemic stroke, intracerebral haemorrhage, subarachnoid haemorrhage, and all strokes combined, and stratified by sex, age group, and World Bank country income level. Findings In 2019, there were 12·2 million (95% UI 11·0–13·6) incident cases of stroke, 101 million (93·2–111) prevalent cases of stroke, 143 million (133–153) DALYs due to stroke, and 6·55 million (6·00–7·02) deaths from stroke. Globally, stroke remained the second-leading cause of death (11·6% [10·8–12·2] of total deaths) and the third-leading cause of death and disability combined (5·7% [5·1–6·2] of total DALYs) in 2019. From 1990 to 2019, the absolute number of incident strokes increased by 70·0% (67·0–73·0), prevalent strokes increased by 85·0% (83·0–88·0), deaths from stroke increased by 43·0% (31·0–55·0), and DALYs due to stroke increased by 32·0% (22·0–42·0). During the same period, age-standardised rates of stroke incidence decreased by 17·0% (15·0–18·0), mortality decreased by 36·0% (31·0–42·0), prevalence decreased by 6·0% (5·0–7·0), and DALYs decreased by 36·0% (31·0–42·0). However, among people younger than 70 years, prevalence rates increased by 22·0% (21·0–24·0) and incidence rates increased by 15·0% (12·0–18·0). In 2019, the age-standardised stroke-related mortality rate was 3·6 (3·5–3·8) times higher in the World Bank low-income group than in the World Bank high-income group, and the age-standardised stroke-related DALY rate was 3·7 (3·5–3·9) times higher in the low-income group than the high-income group. Ischaemic stroke constituted 62·4% of all incident strokes in 2019 (7·63 million [6·57–8·96]), while intracerebral haemorrhage constituted 27·9% (3·41 million [2·97–3·91]) and subarachnoid haemorrhage constituted 9·7% (1·18 million [1·01–1·39]). In 2019, the five leading risk factors for stroke were high systolic blood pressure (contributing to 79·6 million [67·7–90·8] DALYs or 55·5% [48·2–62·0] of total stroke DALYs), high body-mass index (34·9 million [22·3–48·6] DALYs or 24·3% [15·7–33·2]), high fasting plasma glucose (28·9 million [19·8–41·5] DALYs or 20·2% [13·8–29·1]), ambient particulate matter pollution (28·7 million [23·4–33·4] DALYs or 20·1% [16·6–23·0]), and smoking (25·3 million [22·6–28·2] DALYs or 17·6% [16·4–19·0]). Interpretation The annual number of strokes and deaths due to stroke increased substantially from 1990 to 2019, despite substantial reductions in age-standardised rates, particularly among people older than 70 years. The highest age-standardised stroke-related mortality and DALY rates were in the World Bank low-income group. The fastest-growing risk factor for stroke between 1990 and 2019 was high body-mass index. Without urgent implementation of effective primary prevention strategies, the stroke burden will probably continue to grow across the world, particularly in low-income countries. Funding Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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              A randomized trial of intraarterial treatment for acute ischemic stroke.

              In patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by a proximal intracranial arterial occlusion, intraarterial treatment is highly effective for emergency revascularization. However, proof of a beneficial effect on functional outcome is lacking. We randomly assigned eligible patients to either intraarterial treatment plus usual care or usual care alone. Eligible patients had a proximal arterial occlusion in the anterior cerebral circulation that was confirmed on vessel imaging and that could be treated intraarterially within 6 hours after symptom onset. The primary outcome was the modified Rankin scale score at 90 days; this categorical scale measures functional outcome, with scores ranging from 0 (no symptoms) to 6 (death). The treatment effect was estimated with ordinal logistic regression as a common odds ratio, adjusted for prespecified prognostic factors. The adjusted common odds ratio measured the likelihood that intraarterial treatment would lead to lower modified Rankin scores, as compared with usual care alone (shift analysis). We enrolled 500 patients at 16 medical centers in The Netherlands (233 assigned to intraarterial treatment and 267 to usual care alone). The mean age was 65 years (range, 23 to 96), and 445 patients (89.0%) were treated with intravenous alteplase before randomization. Retrievable stents were used in 190 of the 233 patients (81.5%) assigned to intraarterial treatment. The adjusted common odds ratio was 1.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21 to 2.30). There was an absolute difference of 13.5 percentage points (95% CI, 5.9 to 21.2) in the rate of functional independence (modified Rankin score, 0 to 2) in favor of the intervention (32.6% vs. 19.1%). There were no significant differences in mortality or the occurrence of symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. In patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by a proximal intracranial occlusion of the anterior circulation, intraarterial treatment administered within 6 hours after stroke onset was effective and safe. (Funded by the Dutch Heart Foundation and others; MR CLEAN Netherlands Trial Registry number, NTR1804, and Current Controlled Trials number, ISRCTN10888758.).

                Author and article information

                Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (Hagerstown, MD )
                6 December 2022
                6 December 2022
                : 99
                : 23
                : e2593-e2604
                From the J Philip Kistler Stroke Research Center (D.M.K.), Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 02114 USA; Institute of Biostatistics and Clinical Research (J.F., J.K.), University of Muenster, Germany; Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia (D.M.K., P.M.R.), Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, United Kingdom; and Department of Cardiology I: Coronary and Peripheral Vascular Disease (H.R.), Heart Failure, University Hospital Muenster, Germany.
                Author notes
                Correspondence Dr. Kelly dearbhla.kelly@ 123456gbhi.org

                Go to Neurology.org/N for full disclosures. Funding information and disclosures deemed relevant by the authors, if any, are provided at the end of the article.

                The Article Processing Charge was funded by the Innovation committee.

                Submitted and externally peer reviewed. The handling editor was José Merino, MD, MPhil, FAAN.

                Author information
                WNL-2022-201164 00000
                Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Neurology.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND), which permits downloading and sharing the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

                : 31 March 2022
                : 01 August 2022
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