Time Trends in Race-Ethnic Differences in Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders After Stroke

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Background and Purpose—Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders are common after stroke, though there are limited data on trends over time. We investigated time trends in DNR orders in a community with a large minority population.Methods—Cases of ischemic stroke (IS) or intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) were identified from the BASIC study (Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi) from June 2007 through October 2016. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess time to DNR orders, with an interaction term added to allow separate hazard ratios for early (≤24 hours) and late (>24 hours) DNR. Stroke type–specific calendar trends were assessed with an interaction term between calendar year (linear) and stroke type.Results—Two thousand six hundred seventy-two cases were included (ICH, 14%). Mean age was 69, 50% were female, and race-ethnicity was Mexican American (58%), non-Hispanic white (37%), and African American (5%). Overall, 16% had a DNR order during the hospitalization. For ICH, DNR orders (early and late) were stable over the study period. However, early DNR orders became more common over time after ischemic stroke (hazard ratio for 2016 versus 2007: 1.89; 95% CI, 1.06–3.39), with no change over time for late DNR orders after ischemic stroke. Mexican Americans (hazard ratio, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.50–0.86) and African Americans (hazard ratio, 0.17; 95% CI, 0.04–0.71) were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have early DNR orders, though there were no race-ethnic differences in late DNR orders. There was no change in race-ethnic difference in DNR orders over the time of the study (interaction P>0.60).Conclusions—Despite revised national guidelines cautioning against early DNR orders in ICH, presence of DNR orders after ICH was stable between 2007 and 2016, with only slight increases in early DNR orders after ischemic stroke. Mexican Americans and African Americans remain less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have early DNR orders after stroke.

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