To investigate differences in management and outcomes for patients admitted to the hospital with TIA according to care on a stroke unit (SU) or alternate ward setting up to 180 days post event.Methods:
TIA admissions from 40 hospitals participating in the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry during 2010–2013 were assessed. Propensity score matching was used to assess outcomes by treatment group including Cox proportional hazards regression to compare survival differences and other appropriate multivariable regression models for outcomes including health-related quality of life and readmissions.Results:
Among 3,007 patients with TIA (mean age 73 years, 54% male), 1,110 pairs could be matched. Compared to management elsewhere in hospitals, management in an SU was associated with improved cumulative survival at 180 days post event (hazard ratio 0.57, 95% confidence interval 0.35–0.94; p = 0.029), despite not being statistically significant at 90 days (hazard ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.33–1.31; p = 0.237). Overall, there were no differences for being discharged on antihypertensive medication or with a care plan, and the 90- to 180-day self-reported outcomes between these groups were similar. In subgroup analyses of 461 matched pairs treated in hospitals in one Australian state (Queensland), patients treated in an SU were more often prescribed aspirin within 48 hours (73% vs 62%, p < 0.001) and discharged on antithrombotic medications (84% vs 71%, p < 0.001) than those not treated in an SU.Conclusions:
Hospitalized patients with TIA managed in SUs had better survival at 180 days than those treated in alternate wards, potentially through better management, but further research is needed.