Stroke in the very elderly: characteristics and outcome in patients aged ≥85 years with a first-ever ischemic stroke

Neuroepidemiology. 2012;39(1):57-62. doi: 10.1159/000339362. Epub 2012 Jul 8.


Background: Epidemiological and clinical features of very elderly patients with stroke are still uncertain. Our aim was to study the patient characteristics and outcomes in the very elderly (aged ≥85 years) with a first-ever ischemic stroke in the National Acute Stroke Israeli Survey (NASIS) registry.

Methods: The NASIS registry is a nationwide prospective hospital-based study performed triennially (2004, 2007, 2010). Patients with ischemic stroke aged ≥85 years were compared with those 65-84 years old regarding their baseline characteristics, stroke severity, etiology of stroke and stroke outcomes. Logistic regression analyses were used to adjust for potential confounders. Stroke severity was determined according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score.

Results: The proportion of very elderly (≥85 years) patients among the NASIS population increased from 18.3% in 2004 to 19.9% in 2007 and 24.5% in 2010 (p for trend = 0.005). The percentage of women was higher in patients aged ≥85 years (p < 0.0001). Atrial fibrillation, congestive heart disease and prior disability were significantly more common, while diabetes, current smoking and dyslipidemia were less frequent in the very elderly. The very elderly presented with more severe strokes: 36.3% of the ≥85-year-old patients had an NIHSS score ≥11 compared with 22.0% in the younger age group (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: There is an increasing proportion of very elderly subjects, mostly women, among first-ever ischemic stroke patients. Current information on age-specific aspects of stroke in the very elderly is crucial to set up successful prevention pathways and implementing well-organized stroke care for this population.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Fibrillation / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Survival Rate