Introduction: Hospital readmissions contribute significantly to the cost of medical care and reflect the burden of disease. Limited data have been reported on national hospital readmission after acute ischemic stroke.
Methods: Among 2013 adult hospitalizations from the National Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Readmissions Database (NRD), we identified acute ischemic stroke (AIS) hospitalizations using principal diagnosis ICD-9-CM codes. We provided national estimates of AIS non-elective readmission rates within 30 days.
Results: In 2013, there were a total of 489,813 adult index AIS admissions in the United States. The readmission rate within 30 days for a new AIS as the principal diagnosis was 2.1% of index AIS admissions, and was 10.2% of all readmissions. The readmission rate for all non-elective reasons increased with age, with the lowest readmission rate (8.9%) among ages 18-44, and the highest (11.7%).among ages 85+. The readmission rate was higher among patients with public insurance (11.1%) as compared to private (7.4%) or others (7.9%). Recurrent AIS (20.2%) was the most common reason for readmission, including unspecified cerebral artery occlusion with infarction (ICD9-CM=434.91, 13.0%) and cerebral embolism with infarction (ICD9-CM=434.11, 3.1%). In addition, infections were among the most common causes (Septicemia 5.7%, UTI 2.7%, and pneumonia 2.2%) and TIA (2.4%).
Conclusions: The findings have important implications for identifying groups and conditions at high-risk for readmission. The large number of recurrent AIS within 30 days of index AIS highlights the need for improved patient follow-up and secondary prevention treatment.