Independent predictors of ischemic stroke in the elderly: prospective data from a stroke unit

Neurology. 2013 Jan 1;80(1):29-38. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31827b1a41. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Objective: Incidence of ischemic stroke (IS) increases with age. Knowledge of factors associated with IS acute outcomes in the oldest-old (≥80 years) is needed to improve quality of care and resource allocation in this age group.

Methods: Data are for 769 consecutive IS patients aged ≥60 years (436 aged ≥80 years) admitted to an Italian stroke unit in a 4-year period. Demographics, prestroke disability (modified Rankin Scale ≥3) and comorbidities, IS etiology and subtype, NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score, clinical and laboratory admission parameters, and medical complications were prospectively registered. Independent predictors of in-hospital death, incident disability, length of stay, discharge without rehabilitation, and no direct discharge home were identified by multiple logistic regression. Risk profiles before and after age 80 were compared.

Results: Poor outcomes were more frequent in the oldest-old compared to the younger patients. NIHSS score, clinical parameters of IS severity (need for oxygen, indwelling catheter, or nasogastric tube), incident disability, and medical complications predicted most of the study outcomes in both age groups. After age 80, IS etiology and subtype proved additional independent determinants for most outcomes along with age, sex, and prestroke functional and health status.

Conclusions: Characteristics related to neurologic impairment on admission were the main predictors of acute outcomes of IS in this cohort. Specific IS etiology and subtype influenced IS outcomes only after age 80. In oldest-old patients, demographics and prestroke functional and health status also influenced IS outcomes with peculiar associations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / complications
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Brain Ischemia / mortality
  • Comorbidity
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Stroke / complications
  • Stroke / diagnosis
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / mortality