Introduction: A key element in modern stroke care is dedicated stroke units. However, it is unclear whether processes of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) care and outcomes are different between hospitals with and without stroke units in China.
Methods: We analyzed the China National Stroke Registry II data from June 2012 to January 2013. Processes of care were examined by 13 individual national guideline-recommended indicators and composite score. Patients’ outcomes included all caused death, stroke recurrence, and disability (modified Rankin Score ≥3) at 3, 6 and 12month after discharge. Propensity score matching was used to balance the baseline characteristics. We used cox model with shared frailty model and logistic regression with generalized estimating equation to analysis the relationship between stroke units and clinical outcomes.
Results: Among 19 604 AIS patients, there were 11050 (56.4%) patients in 121 hospitals with stroke units, and 8554 (43.6%) patients in 96 hospitals without stroke units. After matching, 8125 pairs of patients were analyzed. Totally, the composite score of processes was higher in hospitals with stroke units than that without(77% versus 74%, p<0.05). Hospitals with stroke units were more likely to conduct anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, early antithrombotic treatment, smoking cessation, and stroke education (Figure 1). However, there are no differences between patients in hospitals with and without stroke units in clinical outcomes(Table 1).
Conclusions: Our study showed that processes of care of AIS were better in patients in hospitals with stroke units. However, patients in hospitals with stroke units didn’t performance differences in clinical outcomes after discharge.