National trends in stroke and TIA care in U.S. emergency departments and inpatient hospitalizations (2006-2014)

Am J Emerg Med. 2018 Oct;36(10):1870-1873. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2018.08.013. Epub 2018 Aug 8.


Background: We examine recent trends in U.S. emergency department (ED) and hospital care for stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Method: We used national ED and inpatient data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2006-14. We explored trends in care and outcomes for patients treated in U.S. hospitals with stroke and TIA using descriptive statistics, as well as intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), a complication of stroke treatment.

Results: From 2006 to 14, there were 3.9 million U.S. ED visits with stroke and 2.5 million with TIA. Over the study, stroke visits grew 25% while TIA decreased 2%. Both conditions were more common among women and older adults, and most had Medicare insurance; however, Medicaid increased from 5.8% to 9.6% for stroke and 4.3% to 7.5% for TIA. Full inpatient hospitalizations fell for stroke from 89% to 83%, and TIA from 61% to 47%. Transfers from the ED for stroke & TIA increased from 4% to 8% and 2% to 5%, respectively. Inpatient mortality decreased for stroke & ICH and costs increased for all three conditions; however, length of stay (LOS) did not significantly change.

Conclusion: Over this nine-year study period, the average age of stroke & TIA patients was unchanged in U.S. hospitals; however, the proportion with Medicaid insurance increased considerably. Stroke incidence increased while TIA decreased slightly. Full inpatient hospitalizations are declining for both conditions, while transfers are on the rise. Average inpatient costs increased dramatically for all three conditions while mortality for stroke & ICH fell significantly.

Keywords: Intracranial hemorrhage; Stroke; Transient ischemic attack; Trends.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / economics*
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Costs / trends*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / trends*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / economics*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / epidemiology
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / therapy
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stroke / economics*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / therapy
  • United States / epidemiology