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1.  Association of Khat Chewing With Increased Risk of Stroke and Death in Patients Presenting With Acute Coronary Syndrome 
Mayo Clinic Proceedings  2010;85(11):974-980.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence and significance of khat chewing in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January 29, 2007, through July 29, 2007, 8176 consecutive patients presenting with ACS were enrolled in a prospective, multicenter study from 6 adjacent Middle Eastern countries.
RESULTS: Of the 8176 study patients, 7242 (88.6%) were non-khat chewers, and 934 (11.4%) were khat chewers, mainly of Yemeni origin. Khat chewers were older (57 vs 56 years; P=.01) and more likely to be men (85.7% vs 74.5%) compared with non-khat chewers. Non-khat chewers were more likely to have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, and prior history of coronary artery disease and revascularization. Cigarette smoking was more prevalent in khat chewers, and they were more likely to present greater than 12 hours after onset of symptoms compared with non-khat chewers. At admission, khat chewers had higher heart rate, Killip class, and Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events risk scores. Khat chewers had a significantly higher risk of cardiogenic shock, stroke, and mortality. After adjustment of baseline variables, khat chewing was an independent risk factor for in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-2.7; P<.001) and stroke (odds ratio, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.3-5.9; P=.01).
CONCLUSION: In this large cohort of patients with ACS, khat chewing was prevalent and was associated with increased risk of stroke and death. In the context of increasing global migration, a greater awareness of potential widespread practices is essential.
In this cohort of 8176 Middle Eastern patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome, khat chewing was prevalent and associated with increased risk of stroke and death.
doi:10.4065/mcp.2010.0398
PMCID: PMC2966360  PMID: 20926835
2.  Management and outcomes of patients presenting with STEMI by use of chronic oral anticoagulation: results from the GRACE registry 
Aims:
To describe the characteristics, treatment, and mortality in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) by use of chronic oral anticoagulant (OAC) therapy.
Methods:
Using data from the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Syndromes (GRACE), patient characteristics, treatment, and reperfusion strategies of STEMI patients on chronic OAC are described, and relevant variables compared with patients not on chronic OAC. Six-month post-discharge mortality rates were evaluated by Cox proportional hazard models.
Results:
Of 19,094 patients with STEMI, 574 (3.0%) were on chronic OAC at admission. Compared with OAC non-users, OAC users were older (mean age 73 vs. 65 years), more likely to be female (37 vs. 29%), were more likely to have a history of atrial fibrillation, prosthetic heart valve, venous thromboembolism, or stroke/transient ischaemic attack, had a higher mean GRACE risk score (166 vs. 145), were less likely to be Killip class I (68 vs. 82%), and were less likely to undergo catheterization/percutaneous coronary intervention (52 vs. 66%, respectively). Of the patients who underwent catheterization, fewer OAC users had the procedure done within 24 h of admission (56.5 vs. 64.5% of OAC non-users). In propensity-matched analyses (n=606), rates of in-hospital major bleeding and in-hospital and 6-month post-discharge mortality were similar for OAC users and OAC non-users (2.7 and 3.7%, p=0.64; 15 and 13%, p=0.56; 15 and 12%, p=0.47, respectively), rates of in-hospital recurrent myocardial infarction (8.6 and 2.0%, p<0.001) and atrial fibrillation (32 and 22%, p=0.004) were higher in OAC patients, and rates of 6-month stroke were lower (0.6 and 4.3%, p=0.038). Patients in both groups who underwent catheterization had lower mortality than those who did not undergo catheterization.
Conclusions:
This is the largest study to describe the characteristics and treatment of STEMI patients on chronic OAC. The findings suggest that patients on chronic OAC are less likely to receive guideline-indicated management, but have similar adjusted rates of in-hospital and 6-month mortality.
doi:10.1177/2048872613483019
PMCID: PMC3821815  PMID: 24222840
Acute coronary syndrome; anticoagulant; guidelines; myocardial infarction
3.  Characteristics and in-hospital outcomes of patients with acute coronary syndromes and heart failure in the United Arab Emirates 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:534.
Background
Heart failure (HF) is a serious complication of acute coronary syndromes (ACS), and is associated with high in-hospital mortality and poor long-term survival. The aims of this study were to describe the clinical characteristics, management and in-hospital outcomes of coronary syndrome (ACS) patients with HF in the United Arab Emirates.
Findings
The study was selected from the Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE), a prospective multi-national, multicenter registry of patients hospitalized with ACS in six Middle East countries. The present analysis was focused on participants admitted to various hospitals in the UAE with a diagnosis of ACS in 2007 and were analyzed in terms of HF (Killip class II/III and IV) on admission. Of 1691 patients (mean age: 52.6 ± 11.7 years; 210 Females, 1481 Males) with ACS, 356 (21%) had an admission diagnosis of HF (Killip class II/III and IV). HF patients were less frequently males (19.2% vs. 34.3%; P < 0.001). HF was more frequently associated with hypertension (64.3% vs. 43.9%; P < 0.001), hyperlipidemia (49.4% vs. 31.8%; P < 0.001) and diabetes mellitus (DM) (51.1% vs. 36.2%; P < 0.001). HF was significantly associated with in-hospital mortality (OR = 11.821; 95% CI: 5.385-25.948; P < 0.001). In multivariate logistic regression, age, hyperlipidemia, heart rate and DM were associated with higher in-hospital HF.
Conclusions
HF is observed in about 1 in 5 patients with ACS in the UAE and is associated with a significant increase in in-hospital mortality and other adverse outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-534
PMCID: PMC3527184  PMID: 23014157
Heart failure; Acute coronary syndrome; United Arab Emirates
4.  Modifiable Etiological Factors and the Burden of Stroke from the Rotterdam Study: A Population-Based Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(4):e1001634.
Using data from the Rotterdam study, Michiel Bos and colleagues estimate the proportion of strokes that are attributable to established modifiable etiological factors for stroke.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Stroke prevention requires effective treatment of its causes. Many etiological factors for stroke have been identified, but the potential gain of effective intervention on these factors in terms of numbers of actually prevented strokes remains unclear because of the lack of data from cohort studies. We assessed the impact of currently known potentially modifiable etiological factors on the occurrence of stroke.
Methods and Findings
This population-based cohort study was based on 6,844 participants of the Rotterdam Study who were aged ≥55 y and free from stroke at baseline (1990–1993). We computed population attributable risks (PARs) for individual risk factors and for risk factors in combination to estimate the proportion of strokes that could theoretically be prevented by the elimination of etiological factors from the population.
The mean age at baseline was 69.4 y (standard deviation 6.3 y). During follow-up (mean follow-up 12.9 y, standard deviation 6.3 y), 1,020 strokes occurred. The age- and sex-adjusted combined PAR of prehypertension/hypertension, smoking, diabetes mellitus, atrial fibrillation, coronary disease, and overweight/obesity was 0.51 (95% CI 0.41–0.62) for any stroke; hypertension and smoking were the most important etiological factors. C-reactive protein, fruit and vegetable consumption, and carotid intima-media thickness in combination raised the total PAR by 0.06. The PAR was 0.55 (95% CI 0.41–0.68) for ischemic stroke and 0.70 (95% CI 0.45–0.87) for hemorrhagic stroke.
The main limitations of our study are that our study population comprises almost exclusively Caucasians who live in a middle and high income area, and that risk factor awareness is higher in a study cohort than in the general population.
Conclusions
About half of all strokes are attributable to established causal and modifiable factors. This finding encourages not only intervention on established etiological factors, but also further study of less well established factors.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, 15 million people worldwide have a stroke. About 6 million of these people die within hours, and another 5 million are left disabled. Stroke occurs when the brain's blood supply is suddenly interrupted by a blood vessel in the brain being blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke) or bursting (hemorrhagic stroke). Deprived of the oxygen normally carried to them by the blood, the brain cells near the blockage die. The symptoms of stroke depend on which part of the brain is damaged but include sudden weakness or paralysis along one side of the body, vision loss in one or both eyes, and trouble speaking or understanding speech. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention because prompt treatment can limit the damage to the brain. In the longer term, post-stroke rehabilitation can help overcome the disabilities caused by stroke, and various drugs alongside behavioral counselling can reduce the risk of a second stroke.
Why Was This Study Done?
Fifty years ago, it was discovered that treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension) reduces the risk of stroke among people with severe hypertension. This discovery led researchers to search for other potentially modifiable etiological factors for stroke (risk factors that cause stroke). The list of established etiological factors now includes smoking, diabetes, atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat), heart disease, and overweight/obesity, in addition to hypertension. But how many strokes would modification of these causal risk factors prevent? In this population-based cohort study, the researchers calculate the individual and combined population attributable risks (PARs) for these established etiological factors to provide an estimate of what proportion of strokes could theoretically be prevented by optimal treatment of known etiological factors. A population-based cohort study enrolls a group of people, determines their characteristics at baseline, and follows them to see whether specific characteristics are associated with specific outcomes. A PAR of an etiological factor for a disease indicates the proportion of that disease in the population that would not occur in the absence of the risk factor.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data from 6,844 participants in the Rotterdam Study, which was designed to investigate the causes and consequences of long-term and disabling diseases in the elderly. At baseline, all of the participants were over 55 years old and free from stroke. During follow-up, 1,020 strokes occurred among the participants. Using data on exposure at baseline to various etiological factors for stroke, the researchers calculated PARs for individual factors and used a special statistical technique to calculate PARs for the factors in combination. The combined PAR of prehypertension/hypertension, smoking, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, heart disease, and overweight/obesity was 0.51 for any stroke. That is, about half of the strokes in the study population were attributable to this combination of etiological factors. Hypertension and smoking were the most important individual factors (PARs of 0.36 and 0.16, respectively). Notably, the inclusion of several less well established etiological factors (increased blood levels of C-reactive protein, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and thickening of the lining of arteries) only raised the total PAR for any stroke by 0.06.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings indicate that about half of the strokes in the study cohort were attributable to established modifiable etiological factors and could theoretically be prevented by eliminating these risk factors from the population. Previous studies have estimated that a larger proportion of strokes could be prevented by eliminating known etiological factors. The researchers acknowledge that some aspects of their study may have led to an underestimation of the proportion of stroke attributable to established etiological factors and note that their findings may not be generalizable to underprivileged or racially diverse populations. Nevertheless, they argue that previous studies are likely to have overestimated the PARs for stroke because they were based on case–control studies (in which exposure to etiological factors was assessed after a stroke had occurred in cases and control individuals, rather than before a stroke as in a population-based cohort study) and often did not use optimal statistical techniques to calculate the total PAR. Importantly, these new findings underscore the importance of interventions targeted at reducing smoking and hypertension and support the search for additional etiological factors for stroke.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001634.
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); its Know Stroke site provides educational materials about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation including personal stories (in English and Spanish); the US National Institutes of Health SeniorHealth website has additional information about stroke
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families, and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website also provides information about stroke for patients and their families, including personal stories
MedlinePlus has links to additional resources about stroke (in English and Spanish)
Information about the Rotterdam Study is available
The UK not-for-profit website Healthtalkonline provides personal stories about stroke
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001634
PMCID: PMC4004543  PMID: 24781247
5.  Event Rates, Hospital Utilization, and Costs Associated with Major Complications of Diabetes: A Multicountry Comparative Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(2):e1000236.
Philip Clarke and colleagues examined patient-level data for over 11,000 participants with type 2 diabetes from 20 countries and find that major complications of diabetes significantly increased hospital use and costs across settings.
Background
Diabetes imposes a substantial burden globally in terms of premature mortality, morbidity, and health care costs. Estimates of economic outcomes associated with diabetes are essential inputs to policy analyses aimed at prevention and treatment of diabetes. Our objective was to estimate and compare event rates, hospital utilization, and costs associated with major diabetes-related complications in high-, middle-, and low-income countries.
Methods and Findings
Incidence and history of diabetes-related complications, hospital admissions, and length of stay were recorded in 11,140 patients with type 2 diabetes participating in the Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease (ADVANCE) study (mean age at entry 66 y). The probability of hospital utilization and number of days in hospital for major events associated with coronary disease, cerebrovascular disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, and nephropathy were estimated for three regions (Asia, Eastern Europe, and Established Market Economies) using multiple regression analysis. The resulting estimates of days spent in hospital were multiplied by regional estimates of the costs per hospital bed-day from the World Health Organization to compute annual acute and long-term costs associated with the different types of complications. To assist, comparability, costs are reported in international dollars (Int$), which represent a hypothetical currency that allows for the same quantities of goods or services to be purchased regardless of country, standardized on purchasing power in the United States. A cost calculator accompanying this paper enables the estimation of costs for individual countries and translation of these costs into local currency units. The probability of attending a hospital following an event was highest for heart failure (93%–96% across regions) and lowest for nephropathy (15%–26%). The average numbers of days in hospital given at least one admission were greatest for stroke (17–32 d across region) and heart failure (16–31 d) and lowest for nephropathy (12–23 d). Considering regional differences, probabilities of hospitalization were lowest in Asia and highest in Established Market Economies; on the other hand, lengths of stay were highest in Asia and lowest in Established Market Economies. Overall estimated annual hospital costs for patients with none of the specified events or event histories ranged from Int$76 in Asia to Int$296 in Established Market Economies. All complications included in this analysis led to significant increases in hospital costs; coronary events, cerebrovascular events, and heart failure were the most costly, at more than Int$1,800, Int$3,000, and Int$4,000 in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Established Market Economies, respectively.
Conclusions
Major complications of diabetes significantly increase hospital use and costs across various settings and are likely to impose a high economic burden on health care systems.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Worldwide, nearly 250 million people have diabetes, and this number is increasing rapidly. Diabetes is characterized by dangerous amounts of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are normally controlled by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Blood sugar control fails in people with diabetes because they make no insulin (type 1 diabetes) or, more commonly, because the fat and muscle cells that usually respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood have become insulin insensitive (type 2 diabetes). Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and controlled by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. It can also be treated with drugs that help the pancreas make more insulin or that increase insulin sensitivity. Major long-term complications of diabetes include kidney failure and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, and problems with the blood vessels in the arms and legs. Because of these complications, the life expectancy of people with diabetes is about ten years shorter than that of people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Diabetes imposes considerable demands on health care systems but little is known about the direct medical costs associated with treating this chronic disease in low- and middle-income countries where more than three-quarters of affected people live. In particular, although estimates have been made of the overall resources devoted to the treatment of diabetes, very little is known about how the different long-term complications of diabetes contribute to health care costs in different countries. Public-health experts and governments need this information to help them design effective and sustainable policies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes. In this study, the researchers estimate the resource use associated with diabetes-related complications in three economic regions using information collected in the Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease (ADVANCE) study. This multinational clinical trial is investigating how drugs that control blood pressure and blood sugar levels affect the long-term complications of diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recorded diabetes-related complications, hospital admissions for these complications, and length of hospital stays in 11,140 patients with severe diabetes from 20 countries who participated in the ADVANCE study. They used “multiple regression analysis” to estimate the number of days spent in hospital for diabetes-related complications in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Established Market Economies (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and several Western European countries). Finally, they calculated the economic costs of each complication using regional estimates of the costs per bed-day from the World Health Organization's CHOICE project (CHOosing Interventions that are Cost Effective). Nearly everyone in the study who developed heart failure attended a hospital, but only 15%–26% of people attended a hospital for kidney problems. The chances of hospitalization for any complication were lowest in Asia and highest in the Established Market Economies; conversely, lengths of stay were longest in Asia and shortest in the Established Market Economies. Finally, the estimated annual hospital costs for patients who had a coronary event, stroke, or heart failure were more than Int$1,800, Int$3,000, and Int$4,000 in Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Established Market Economies, respectively (the international dollar, Int$, is a hypothetical currency that has the same purchasing power in all countries), compared to Int$76, Int$156, and Int$296 for patients who experienced none of these events.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Because the ADVANCE trial had strict entry criteria, the findings of this study may not be generalizable to the broader population of people with diabetes. Nevertheless, given the lack of information about the costs associated with diabetes-related complications in low- and middle-income countries, these findings provide important new information about the patterns of hospital resource use and costs in these countries. Specifically, these findings show that the major complications of diabetes greatly increase hospital use and costs in all three economic regions considered and impose a high economic burden on health care systems that is likely to increase as the diabetes epidemic develops. Importantly, these findings should help policy makers anticipate the future health care costs associated with diabetes and should help them evaluate which therapies aimed at preventing diabetes-related complications will reduce these costs most effectively.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000236.
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about all aspects of diabetes
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides detailed information about diabetes for patients, health care professionals, and the general public (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service also provides information for patients and caregivers about type 2 diabetes (in several languages)
Information about the ADVANCE study is available
The World Health Organization's CHOICE Web site provides information about the analysis of the cost effectiveness of health care interventions
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000236
PMCID: PMC2826379  PMID: 20186272
6.  Peripheral Arterial Disease in Patients Presenting with Acute Coronary Syndrome in Six Middle Eastern Countries 
To describe prevalence and impact of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS), data were collected over 5 months from 6 Middle Eastern countries. Patients were divided into 2 groups (with and without PAD). Out of 6705 consecutive ACS patients, PAD was reported in 177 patients. In comparison to non-PAD, PAD patients were older and more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors. They were more likely to have high Killip class, high GRACE risk score, and non-ST elevation ACS (NSTEACS) at presentation. Thrombolytics, antiplatelet use, and coronary intervention were comparable in both groups. When presented with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), patients with PAD had worse outcomes, while in NSTEACS; PAD was associated with higher rate of heart failure in comparison to non-PAD patients. In diabetics, PAD was associated with 2-fold increase in mortality when compared to non-PAD (P = 0.028). After adjustment, PAD was associated with high mortality in STEMI (adjusted OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.23–5.65, P = 0.01). Prevalence of PAD in ACS in the Gulf region is low. Patients with PAD and ACS constitute a high risk group and require more attention. PAD in patients with STEMI is an independent predictor of in-hospital death.
doi:10.1155/2011/815902
PMCID: PMC3246760  PMID: 22220279
7.  Associations between Stroke Mortality and Weekend Working by Stroke Specialist Physicians and Registered Nurses: Prospective Multicentre Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(8):e1001705.
In a multicenter observational study, Benjamin Bray and colleagues evaluate whether weekend rounds by stroke specialist physicians, or the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends, is associated with patient mortality after stroke.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Observational studies have reported higher mortality for patients admitted on weekends. It is not known whether this “weekend effect” is modified by clinical staffing levels on weekends. We aimed to test the hypotheses that rounds by stroke specialist physicians 7 d per week and the ratio of registered nurses to beds on weekends are associated with mortality after stroke.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 103 stroke units (SUs) in England. Data of 56,666 patients with stroke admitted between 1 June 2011 and 1 December 2012 were extracted from a national register of stroke care in England. SU characteristics and staffing levels were derived from cross-sectional survey. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) of 30-d post-admission mortality, adjusting for case mix, organisational, staffing, and care quality variables. After adjusting for confounders, there was no significant difference in mortality risk for patients admitted to a stroke service with stroke specialist physician rounds fewer than 7 d per week (adjusted HR [aHR] 1.04, 95% CI 0.91–1.18) compared to patients admitted to a service with rounds 7 d per week. There was a dose–response relationship between weekend nurse/bed ratios and mortality risk, with the highest risk of death observed in stroke services with the lowest nurse/bed ratios. In multivariable analysis, patients admitted on a weekend to a SU with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had an estimated adjusted 30-d mortality risk of 15.2% (aHR 1.18, 95% CI 1.07–1.29) compared to 11.2% for patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds (aHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77–0.93), equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions. The main limitation is the risk of confounding from unmeasured characteristics of stroke services.
Conclusions
Mortality outcomes after stroke are associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses but not 7-d/wk ward rounds by stroke specialist physicians. The findings have implications for quality improvement and resource allocation in stroke care.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In a perfect world, a patient admitted to hospital on a weekend or during the night should have as good an outcome as a patient admitted during regular working hours. But several observational studies (investigations that record patient outcomes without intervening in any way; clinical trials, by contrast, test potential healthcare interventions by comparing the outcomes of patients who are deliberately given different treatments) have reported that admission on weekends is associated with a higher mortality (death) rate than admission on weekdays. This “weekend effect” has led to calls for increased medical and nursing staff to be available in hospitals during the weekend and overnight to ensure that the healthcare provided at these times is of equal quality to that provided during regular working hours. In the UK, for example, “seven-day working” has been identified as a policy and service improvement priority for the National Health Service.
Why Was This Study Done?
Few studies have actually tested the relationship between patient outcomes and weekend physician or nurse staffing levels. It could be that patients who are admitted to hospital on the weekend have poor outcomes because they are generally more ill than those admitted on weekdays. Before any health system introduces potentially expensive increases in weekend staffing levels, better evidence that this intervention will improve patient outcomes is needed. In this prospective cohort study (a study that compares the outcomes of groups of people with different baseline characteristics), the researchers ask whether mortality after stroke is associated with weekend working by stroke specialist physicians and registered nurses. Stroke occurs when the brain's blood supply is interrupted by a blood vessel in the brain bursting (hemorrhagic stroke) or being blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Swift treatment can limit the damage to the brain caused by stroke, but of the 15 million people who have a stroke every year, about 6 million die within a few hours and another 5 million are left disabled.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers extracted clinical data on 56,666 patients who were admitted to stroke units in England over an 18-month period from a national stroke register. They obtained information on the characteristics and staffing levels of the stroke units from a biennial survey of hospitals admitting patients with stroke, and information on deaths among patients with stroke from the national register of deaths. A quarter of the patients were admitted on a weekend, almost half the stroke units provided stroke specialist physician rounds seven days per week, and the remainder provided rounds five days per week. After adjustment for factors that might have affected outcomes (“confounders”) such as stroke severity and the level of acute stroke care available in each stroke unit, there was no significant difference in mortality risk between patients admitted to a stroke unit with rounds seven days/week and patients admitted to a unit with rounds fewer than seven days/week. However, patients admitted on a weekend to a stroke unit with 1.5 nurses/ten beds had a 30-day mortality risk of 15.2%, whereas patients admitted to a unit with 3.0 nurses/ten beds had a mortality risk of 11.2%, a mortality risk difference equivalent to one excess death per 25 admissions.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that the provision of stroke specialist physician rounds seven days/week in stroke units in England did not influence the (weak) association between weekend admission for stroke and death recorded in this study, but mortality outcomes after stroke were associated with the intensity of weekend staffing by registered nurses. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by the measure used to judge the level of acute care available in each stroke unit and by residual confounding. For example, patients admitted to units with lower nursing levels may have shared other unknown characteristics that increased their risk of dying after stroke. Moreover, this study considered the impact of staffing levels on mortality only and did not consider other relevant outcomes such as long-term disability. Despite these limitations, these findings support the provision of higher weekend ratios of registered nurses to beds in stroke units, but given the high costs of increasing weekend staffing levels, it is important that controlled trials of different models of physician and nursing staffing are undertaken as soon as possible.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001705.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Meeta Kerlin
Information about plans to introduce seven-day working into the National Health Service in England is available; the 2013 publication “NHS Services—Open Seven Days a Week: Every Day Counts” provides examples of how hospitals across England are working together to provide routine healthcare services seven days a week; a “Behind the Headlines” article on the UK National Health Service Choices website describes a recent observational study that investigated the association between admission to hospital on the weekend and death, and newspaper coverage of the study's results; the Choices website also provides information about stroke for patients and their families, including personal stories
A US nurses' site includes information on the association of nurse staffing with patient safety
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); its Know Stroke site provides educational materials about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation, including personal stories (in English and Spanish); the US National Institute of Health SeniorHealth website has additional information about stroke
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families, and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001705
PMCID: PMC4138029  PMID: 25137386
8.  Long-term prognostic value of admission haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels in patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention 
Introduction
Many studies have reported the diagnostic and prognostic value of haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels in patients with acute coronary syndrome. However, the short- and long-term prognostic value of HbA1c level in patients with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is controversial.
Aim
To investigate whether admission HbA1c level has a prognostic value for in-hospital, short-, and long-term cardiovascular (CV) mortality and major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with STEMI undergoing primary PCI.
Material and methods
This prospective study included 443 consecutive patients with STEMI who underwent primary PCI between September 2010 and July 2012. The patients were divided into three groups based on admission HbA1c levels: group I (HbA1c ≤ 5.6%), group II (HbA1c 5.7–6.4%), and group III (HbA1c ≥ 6.5%). The in-hospital, 1-month, and 1-year CV events of all 3 patient groups were followed up.
Results
A significant association was found between HbA1c level and 1-year primary clinical outcomes, including CV mortality, non-fatal reinfarction, and stroke (p = 0.037). In addition, age, Killip class > 1, and left ventricular ejection fraction were found to be independent predictors of long-term CV mortality in multivariate analysis (hazard ratios (95% confidence interval) 1.081 (1.020–1.146), 4.182 (1.171–14.935), and 0.832 (0.752–0.920); p = 0.009, p = 0.028, and p < 0.001, respectively).
Conclusions
In this study, we demonstrated that increased admission HbA1c levels were associated with higher rates of major adverse CV events, including mortality, non-fatal reinfarction, and stroke, in patients with STEMI who underwent primary PCI.
doi:10.5114/pwki.2014.45143
PMCID: PMC4252307  PMID: 25489302
haemoglobin A1c; prognosis; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; primary percutaneous coronary intervention
9.  Age and clinical outcomes in patients presenting with acute coronary syndromes☆ 
Context
Elderly patients have more cardiovascular risk factors and a greater burden of ischemic disease than younger patients.
Aims
To examine the impact of age on clinical presentation and outcomes in patients presenting with acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Methods and material
Collected data from the 2nd Gulf Registry of Acute Coronary Events (Gulf RACE-2), which is a prospective multicenter study from six adjacent Arab Middle Eastern Gulf countries. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to their age: ≤50 years, 51–70 years and >70 years and their clinical characteristics and outcomes were analyzed. Mortality was assessed at one and 12 months.
Statistical analysis used
One-way ANOVA test for continuous variables, Pearson chi-square (X2) test for categorical variables and multivariate logistic regression analysis for predictors were performed.
Results
Among 7930 consecutive ACS patients; 2755 (35%) were ≤50 years, 4110 (52%) were 51–70 years and 1065 (13%) >70 years old. The proportion of women increased with increasing age (13% among patients ≤50 years to 31% among patients > 70 years). The risk factor pattern varied with age; younger patients were more often obese, smokers and had a positive family history of CAD, whereas older patients more likely to have diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Advancing age was associated with under-treatment evidence-based therapies. Multivariate logistic regression analysis after adjusting for relevant covariates showed that old age was independent predictors for re-ischemia (OR 1.29; 95% CI 1.03–1.60), heart failure (OR 2.8; 95% CI 2.17–3.52) and major bleeding (OR 4.02; 95% CI 1.37–11.77) and in-hospital mortality (age 51–70: OR 2.67; 95% CI 1.86–3.85, and age >70: OR 4.71; 95% CI 3.11–7.14).
Conclusion
Despite being higher risk group, elderly are less likely to receive evidence-based therapies and had worse outcomes. Guidelines adherence is highly recommended in elderly.
doi:10.1016/j.jcdr.2012.08.005
PMCID: PMC3770118  PMID: 24027372
Acute coronary syndrome; Age; Elderly
10.  Temporal trends in treatment of ST-elevation myocardial infarction among men and women in Switzerland between 1997 and 2011 
Background:
Few data are available concerning the impact of gender on temporal trends in patients with acute ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI).
Methods:
All STEMI patients consecutively enrolled in the AMIS (Acute Myocardial Infarction in Switzerland) Plus project from 1997–2011 were included. Temporal trends in presentation, treatment and outcomes were analyzed using multiple logistic regressions with generalized estimations.
Results:
Of 21,620 STEMI patients, 5786 were women and 15,834 men from 78 Swiss hospitals. Women were 8.6 years older, presented 48 minutes later with less pain, but more dyspnea, and more frequently had atrial fibrillation (5.5 vs. 3.9%, p<0.001), heart failure (Killip class >2) (9.7 vs. 7.3%, p<0.001), and moderate or severe comorbidities (24.8 vs. 18.2%, p<0.001). Women were less likely to undergo primary reperfusion treatment after adjustment for baseline characteristics and admission year (OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.71–0.90, p<0.001) or receive early and discharge drugs, such as thienopyridines, angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, and statins. In 1997, thrombolysis was performed in 51% of male and 39% of female patients; its use rapidly decreased during the 1990s and has now become negligible. Primary percutaneous coronary intervention increased from under 10% in both genders in 1997 to over 70% in females and over 80% in males since 2006. Patients admitted in cardiogenic shock increased by 8% per year in both genders. The incidence of both reinfarction and cardiogenic shock developing during hospitalization decreased significantly over 15 years while in-hospital mortality decreased from 10 to 5% in men and from 18 to 7% in women. This corresponds to a relative reduction of 5% per year for males (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.92–0.99, p=0.006) and 6% per year for female STEMI patients (OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.91–0.97, p<0.001). Despite higher crude in-hospital mortality, female gender per se was not an independent predictor of in-hospital mortality (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.84–1.35, p=0.59).
Conclusion:
Substantial changes have occurred in presentation, treatment, and outcome of men and women with STEMI in Switzerland over the past 15 years. Although parallel trends were seen in both groups, ongoing disparities in certain treatments remain. However, these did not translate into worse risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality, suggesting that the gender gap in STEMI care may be closing.
doi:10.1177/2048872612454021
PMCID: PMC3760536  PMID: 24062906
Acute myocardial infarction; evidence-based medicine; primary angioplasty; sex; trends
11.  Stroke: secondary prevention  
Clinical Evidence  2010;2010:0207.
Introduction
People with a history of stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) are at high risk of all vascular events, such as myocardial infarction (MI), but are at particular risk of subsequent stroke (about 10% in the first year and about 5% each year thereafter).
Methods and outcomes
We conducted a systematic review and aimed to answer the following clinical questions: What are the effects of preventive non-surgical interventions in people with previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack? What are the effects of preventive surgical interventions in people with previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack? What are the effects of preventive anticoagulant and antiplatelet treatments in people with atrial fibrillation and previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack? What are the effects of preventive anticoagulant and antiplatelet treatments in people with atrial fibrillation and without previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack? What are the effects of preventive anticoagulant and antiplatelet treatments in people with atrial fibrillation and without previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack and with low to moderate risk of stroke or transient ischaemic attack? We searched: Medline, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and other important databases up to February 2009 (Clinical Evidence reviews are updated periodically; please check our website for the most up-to-date version of this review). We included harms alerts from relevant organisations such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Results
We found 130 systematic reviews, RCTs, or observational studies that met our inclusion criteria. We performed a GRADE evaluation of the quality of evidence for interventions.
Conclusions
In this systematic review we present information relating to the effectiveness and safety of the following interventions: alternative antiplatelet regimens to aspirin, anticoagulation (oral dosing, or in those with sinus rhythm), aspirin (high or low dose), blood pressure reduction, carotid and vertebral percutaneous transluminal angioplasty (PTA), carotid endarterectomy (in people with: asymptomatic but severe carotid artery stenosis, less than 0% symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, moderate [30%-49%] symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, moderately severe [50%-69%] symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, severe [greater than 70%] symptomatic carotid artery stenosis, or symptomatic near occlusion of the carotid artery), cholesterol reduction, vitamin B supplements (including folate), and different regimens to lower blood pressure.
Key Points
Prevention in this context is the long-term management of people with previous stroke or TIA, and of people at high risk of stroke for other reasons, such as atrial fibrillation. Risk factors for stroke include: previous stroke or TIA; increasing age; hypertension; diabetes; cigarette smoking; and emboli associated with atrial fibrillation, artificial heart valves, or MI.
Antiplatelet treatment effectively reduces the risk of stroke in people with previous stroke or TIA. High-dose aspirin (500-1500 mg/day) seems as equally effective as low-dose aspirin (75-150 mg/day), although it may increase GI adverse effects. Adding dipyridamole to aspirin is beneficial in reducing composite vascular end points and stroke compared with aspirin alone. Risk reduction appears greater with extended-release compared with immediate-release dipyridamole.The net risk of recurrent stroke or major haemorrhagic event is similar with clopidogrel and aspirin plus dipyridamole.
Treatments to reduce blood pressure are effective for reducing the risk of serious vascular events in people with previous stroke or TIA. Blood pressure reduction seems beneficial irrespective of the type of qualifying cerebrovascular event (ischaemic or haemorrhagic), or even whether people are hypertensive.Aggressive blood pressure lowering should not be considered in people with acute stenosis of the carotid or vertebral arteries, because of the risk of precipitating a stroke.
Carotid endarterectomy effectively reduces the risk of stroke in people with greater than 50% carotid stenosis, is not effective in people with 30% to 49% carotid stenosis, and increases the risk of stroke in people with less than 30% stenosis. However, it does not seem beneficial in people with near occlusion.
Cholesterol reduction using statins seems to reduce the risk of stroke irrespective of baseline cholesterol or coronary artery disease (CAD). Non-statin cholesterol reduction does not seem to reduce the risk of stroke.
We found insufficient evidence to judge the efficacy of carotid percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, carotid percutaneous transluminal angioplasty plus stenting, or vertebral percutaneous transluminal angioplasty in people with recent carotid or vertebral TIA or stenosis.
Vitamin B supplements (including folate) do not seem beneficial in reducing mortality or the risk of stroke.
Anticoagulation does not seem beneficial in reducing stroke in people with previous ischaemic stroke and normal sinus rhythm, but does increase the risk of intra- and extracranial haemorrhage. This is especially true for patients with TIAs or minor ischaemic stroke as the qualifying event.
In people with atrial fibrillation, oral anticoagulants reduce the risk of stroke in people with previous stroke or TIA, and in people with no previous stroke or TIA who are at high risk of stroke or TIA, but we don't know whether they are effective in people with no previous stroke or TIA who are at low risk of stroke or TIA. In people with atrial fibrillation, we don't know whether aspirin reduces the risk of stroke in people with previous stroke or TIA, or in people without previous stroke or TIA who are at low risk of stroke or TIA, but they may be unlikely to be effective in people without previous stroke or TIA who are at high risk of stroke or TIA.
PMCID: PMC2907594
12.  Clinical study of 222 patients with pure motor stroke 
The objective was to assess the frequency of pure motor stroke caused by different stroke subtypes and to compare demographic, clinical, neuroimaging, and outcome data of pure motor stroke with those of patients with other lacunar stroke as well as with those of patients with non-lacunar stroke.
Data from 2000 patients with acute stroke (n=1761) or transient ischaemic attack (n=239) admitted consecutively to the department of neurology of an acute care 350 bed teaching hospital were prospectively collected in the Sagrat Cor Hospital of Barcelona stroke registry over a 10 year period. For the purpose of the study 222 (12.7%) patients with pure motor stroke were selected. The other study groups included 218 (12.3%) patients with other lacunar strokes and 1321 (75%) patients with non-lacunar stroke.
In relation to stroke subtype, lacunar infarcts were found in 189 (85%) patients, whereas ischaemic lacunar syndromes not due to lacunar infarcts occurred in 23 (10.4%) patients (atherothrombotic stroke in 12, cardioembolic stroke in seven, infarction of undetermined origin in three, and infarction of unusual aetiology in one) and haemorrhagic lacunar syndromes in 10 (4.5%). Patients with pure motor stroke showed a better outcome than patients with non-lacunar stroke with a significantly lower number of complications and in hospital mortality rate, shorter duration of hospital stay, and a higher number of symptom free patients at hospital discharge. After multivariate analysis, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, hyperlipidaemia, non-sudden stroke onset, internal capsule involvement, and pons topography seemed to be independent factors of pure motor stroke in patients with acute stroke.
In conclusion, about one of every 10 patients with acute stroke had a pure motor stroke. Pure motor stroke was caused by a lacunar infarct in 85% of patients and by other stroke subtypes in 15%. Several clinical features are more frequent in patients with pure motor stroke than in patients with non-lacunar stroke.


doi:10.1136/jnnp.71.2.239
PMCID: PMC1737524  PMID: 11459902
13.  Inflammatory Markers and Poor Outcome after Stroke: A Prospective Cohort Study and Systematic Review of Interleukin-6 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(9):e1000145.
In a prospective cohort study of patient outcomes following stroke, William Whiteley and colleagues find that markers of inflammatory response are associated with poor outcomes. However, addition of these markers to existing prognostic models does not improve outcome prediction.
Background
The objective of this study was to determine whether: (a) markers of acute inflammation (white cell count, glucose, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and fibrinogen) are associated with poor outcome after stroke and (b) the addition of markers to previously validated prognostic models improves prediction of poor outcome.
Methods and Findings
We prospectively recruited patients between 2002 and 2005. Clinicians assessed patients and drew blood for inflammatory markers. Patients were followed up by postal questionnaire for poor outcome (a score of>2 on the modified Rankin Scale) and death through the General Register Office (Scotland) at 6 mo. We performed a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis of the association between interleukin-6 and poor outcome after stroke to place our study in the context of previous research. We recruited 844 patients; mortality data were available in 844 (100%) and functional outcome in 750 (89%). After appropriate adjustment, the odds ratios for the association of markers and poor outcome (comparing the upper and the lower third) were interleukin-6, 3.1 (95% CI: 1.9–5.0); C-reactive protein, 1.9 (95% CI: 1.2–3.1); fibrinogen, 1.5 (95% CI: 1.0–2.36); white cell count, 2.1 (95% CI: 1.3–3.4); and glucose 1.3 (95% CI: 0.8–2.1). The results for interleukin-6 were similar to other studies. However, the addition of inflammatory marker levels to validated prognostic models did not materially improve model discrimination, calibration, or reclassification for prediction of poor outcome after stroke.
Conclusions
Raised levels of markers of the acute inflammatory response after stroke are associated with poor outcomes. However, the addition of these markers to a previously validated stroke prognostic model did not improve the prediction of poor outcome. Whether inflammatory markers are useful in prediction of recurrent stroke or other vascular events is a separate question, which requires further study.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every year, 15 million people have a stroke. In the US alone, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies from a stroke every 3–4 minutes. Stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly interrupted by a blood clot blocking a blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke, the commonest type of stroke) or by a blood vessel in the brain bursting (hemorrhagic stroke). Deprived of the oxygen normally carried to them by the blood, the brain cells near the blockage die. The symptoms of stroke depend on which part of the brain is damaged but include sudden weakness or paralysis along one side of the body, vision loss in one or both eyes, and confusion or trouble speaking or understanding speech. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical assistance immediately because prompt treatment can limit the damage to the brain. Risk factors for stroke include age (three-quarters of strokes occur in people over 65 years old), high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Why Was This Study Done?
Many people are left with permanent disabilities after a stroke. An accurate way to predict the likely long-term outcome (prognosis) for individual patients would help clinicians manage their patients and help relatives and patients come to terms with their changed circumstances. Clinicians can get some idea of their patients' likely outcomes by assessing six simple clinical variables. These include the ability to lift both arms and awareness of the present situation. But could the inclusion of additional variables improve the predictive power of this simple prognostic model? There is some evidence that high levels in the blood of inflammatory markers (for example, interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein) are associated with poor outcomes after stroke—inflammation is the body's response to infection and to damage. In this prospective cohort study, the researchers investigate whether inflammatory markers are associated with poor outcome after stroke and whether the addition of these markers to the six-variable prognostic model improves its predictive power. Prospective cohort studies enroll a group of participants and follow their subsequent progress.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited 844 patients who had had a stroke (mainly mild ischemic strokes) in Edinburgh. Each patient was assessed soon after the stroke by a clinician and blood was taken for the measurement of inflammatory markers. Six months after the stroke, the patient or their relatives completed a postal questionnaire that assessed their progress. Information about patient deaths was obtained from the General Register Office for Scotland. Dependency on others for the activities of daily life or dying was recorded as a poor outcome. In their statistical analysis of these data, the researchers found that raised levels of several inflammatory markers increased the likelihood of a poor outcome. For example, after allowing for age and other factors, individuals with interleukin-6 levels in the upper third of the measured range were three times as likely to have a poor outcome as patients with interleukin-6 levels in the bottom third of the range. A systematic search of the literature revealed that previous studies that had looked at the potential association between interleukin-6 levels and outcome after stroke had found similar results. Finally, the researchers found that the addition of inflammatory marker levels to the six-variable prognostic model did not substantially improve its ability to predict outcome after stroke for this cohort of patients.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide additional support for the idea that increased levels of inflammatory markers are associated with a poor outcome after stroke. However, because patients with infections were not excluded from the study, infection may be responsible for part of the observed association. Importantly, these findings also show that although the inclusion of inflammatory markers in the six variable prognostic model slightly improves its ability to predict outcome, the magnitude of this improvement is too small to warrant the use of these markers in routine practice. Whether the measurement of inflammatory markers might be useful in the prediction of recurrent stroke—at least a quarter of people who survive a stroke will have another one within 5 years—requires further study.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000145.
This study is further discussed in a PLoS Medicine Perspective by Len Kritharides
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke provides information about all aspects of stroke (in English and Spanish); the Know Stroke site provides educational materials about stroke prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation (in English and Spanish)
The Internet Stroke Center provides detailed information about stroke for patients, families and health professionals (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service also provides information for patients and their families about stroke (in several languages)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about stroke (in English and Spanish)
The six simple variable model for prediction of death or disability after stroke is available here: http://dcnapp1.dcn.ed.ac.uk/scope/
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000145
PMCID: PMC2730573  PMID: 19901973
14.  Design and Rationale of Gulf locals with Acute Coronary Syndrome Events (Gulf Coast) Registry 
Objectives:
To describe the risk profile, management and one-year outcomes of patients hospitalized with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) in the Gulf region of the Middle East.
Subjects and Methods:
The Gulf locals with acute coronary syndrome events (Gulf COAST) registry is a prospective, multinational, longitudinal, observational, cohort-based registry of consecutive citizens, from the Gulf region of the Middle East, admitted from January 2012 to January 2013 to 29 hospitals with a diagnosis of ACS. Data entered online included patient demographics, cardiovascular risk profiles, past medical history, physical findings on admission, in-hospital diagnostic tests and therapeutic management, as well as one year outcomes.
Results:
3188 patients were recruited. The mean age was 60.4 ± 12.6years (range: 22-112), 2104 (66%) were males and 1084 (34%) females. The discharge diagnosis was ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in 741 (23.2%), new-onset left bundle branch block myocardial infarction (LBBBMI) in 30 (0.9%), non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) in 1486 (46.6%) and unstable angina in 931 (29.2%). At hospital presentation, 2105 (66%), 1779 (55.8%), 1703 (53.4%) and 740 (23.2%) had history of hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes mellitus and active smoking, respectively.
Conclusion:
Patients with ACS in our region are young with very high risk profile. The Gulf COAST registry is an example of successful regional collaboration and will provide information on contemporary management of ACS in the region.
doi:10.2174/1874192401408010088
PMCID: PMC4197526  PMID: 25328551
Acute coronary syndromes; Gulf; Middle East; registries.
15.  Effect of Prior Stroke on the Use of Evidence-Based Therapies and In-Hospital Outcomes in Patients With Myocardial Infarction (from the NCDR ACTION GWTG Registry) 
The American journal of cardiology  2011;107(10):1441-1446.
Patients with previous stroke are at high-risk for myocardial infarction (MI). Concern regarding increased risk of bleeding or recurrent stroke in this patient population might alter therapeutic decisions. Data were collected from 281 hospitals in the United States in the NCDR ACTION Registry. Patients with ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI; n = 15,997) or non-STEMI (NSTEMI; n = 25,514) entered into the registry from January 1, 2007 through December 31, 2007 were included. We assessed use of evidence-based medications and procedures in patients with and without previous stroke. Risk-adjusted odds ratio of death, major bleeding not related to coronary artery bypass grafting, and a composite outcome (major adverse cardiac events [MACEs], i.e., death/MI/stroke/cardiogenic shock/congestive heart failure) were calculated using logistic regression. Previous stroke was reported in 5.1% of patients with STEMI and 9.3% of those with NSTEMI. Of patients with STEMI eligible for reperfusion therapy, those with previous stroke were less likely to receive reperfusion therapy compared to patients without previous stroke. Patients with previous stroke had longer door-to-needle and door-to-balloon times. Of patients with STEMI and NSTEMI, those with previous stroke were less likely to receive evidence-based therapies. Death, MACEs, and major bleeding were more common with previous stroke. When adjusted for baseline risk, patients with previous stroke were at increased risk of death (only those with STEMI) and MACEs but not bleeding. In conclusion, patients with STEMI and previous stroke are at increased risk for death and patients with STEMI and NSTEMI are at increased risk of MACE. Despite this, previous stroke patients are less likely to receive guideline-based MI therapies.
doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.01.020
PMCID: PMC3743416  PMID: 21420059
16.  5-year survival and rehospitalization due to stroke recurrence among patients with hemorrhagic or ischemic strokes in Singapore 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:133.
Background
Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death and 1st leading cause of disability in Singapore. However the information on long-term post stroke outcomes for Singaporean patients was limited. This study aimed to investigate the post stroke outcomes of 5-year survival and rehospitalization due to stroke recurrence for hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke patients in Singapore. The outcomes were stratified by age, ethnic group, gender and stroke types. The causes of death and stroke recurrence were also explored in the study.
Methods
A multi-site retrospective cohort study. Patients admitted for stroke at any of the three hospitals in the National Healthcare Group of Singapore were included in the study. All study patients were followed up to 5 years. Kaplan-Meier was applied to study the time to first event, death or rehospitalization due to stroke recurrence. Cox proportional hazard model was applied to study the time to death with adjustment for stroke type, age, sex, ethnic group, and admission year. Cumulative incidence model with competing risk was applied for comparing the risks of rehospitalization due to stroke recurrence with death as the competing risk.
Results
Totally 12,559 stroke patients were included in the study. Among them, 59.3% survived for 5 years; 18.4% were rehospitalized due to stroke recurrence in 5 years. The risk of stroke recurrence and mortality increased with age in all stroke types. Gender, ethnic group and admitting year were not significantly associated with the risk of mortality or stroke recurrence in hemorrhagic stroke. Male or Malay patient had higher risk of stroke recurrence and mortality in ischemic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke had higher early mortality while ischemic stroke had higher recurrence and late mortality. The top cause of death among died stroke patients was cerebrovascular diseases, followed by pneumonia and ischemic heart diseases. The recurrent stroke was most likely to be the same type as the initial stroke among rehospitalized stroke patients.
Conclusions
Five year post-stroke survival and rehospitalization due to stroke recurrence as well as their associations with patient demographics were studied for different stroke types in Singapore. Specific preventive strategies are needed to target the high risk groups to improve their long-term outcomes after acute stroke.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-133
PMCID: PMC3850698  PMID: 24088308
Stroke; Outcomes; Recurrence; Rehospitalization; Mortality; Singapore
17.  Validation of the Killip-Kimball Classification and Late Mortality after Acute Myocardial Infarction 
Arquivos Brasileiros de Cardiologia  2014;103(2):107-117.
Background
The classification or index of heart failure severity in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was proposed by Killip and Kimball aiming at assessing the risk of in-hospital death and the potential benefit of specific management of care provided in Coronary Care Units (CCU) during the decade of 60.
Objective
To validate the risk stratification of Killip classification in the long-term mortality and compare the prognostic value in patients with non-ST-segment elevation MI (NSTEMI) relative to patients with ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI), in the era of reperfusion and modern antithrombotic therapies.
Methods
We evaluated 1906 patients with documented AMI and admitted to the CCU, from 1995 to 2011, with a mean follow-up of 05 years to assess total mortality. Kaplan-Meier (KM) curves were developed for comparison between survival distributions according to Killip class and NSTEMI versus STEMI. Cox proportional regression models were developed to determine the independent association between Killip class and mortality, with sensitivity analyses based on type of AMI. Results: The proportions of deaths and the KM survival distributions were significantly different across Killip class >1 (p <0.001) and with a similar pattern between patients with NSTEMI and STEMI. Cox models identified the Killip classification as a significant, sustained, consistent predictor and independent of relevant covariables (Wald χ2 16.5 [p = 0.001], NSTEMI) and (Wald χ2 11.9 [p = 0.008], STEMI).
Conclusion
The Killip and Kimball classification performs relevant prognostic role in mortality at mean follow-up of 05 years post-AMI, with a similar pattern between NSTEMI and STEMI patients.
doi:10.5935/abc.20140091
PMCID: PMC4150661  PMID: 25014060
Severity of Illness Index; Heart failure / mortality; Myocardial Infarction / mortality; Prognosis
18.  Functional, cognitive and psychological outcomes, and recurrent vascular events in Pakistani stroke survivors: a cross sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:89.
Background
There is little direct data describing the outcomes and recurrent vascular morbidity and mortality of stroke survivors from low and middle income countries like Pakistan. This study describes functional, cognitive and vascular morbidity and mortality of Pakistani stroke survivors discharged from a dedicated stroke center within a nonprofit tertiary care hospital based in a multiethnic city with a population of more than 20 million.
Methods
Patients with stroke, aged > 18 years, discharged alive from a tertiary care centre were contacted via telephone and a cross sectional study was conducted. All the discharges were contacted. Patients or their legal surrogate were interviewed regarding functional, cognitive and psychological outcomes and recurrent vascular events using standardized, pretested and translated scales. A verbal autopsy was carried out for patients who had died after discharge. Stroke subtype and risk factors data was collected from the medical records. Subdural hemorrhages, traumatic ICH, subarachnoid hemorrhage, iatrogenic stroke within hospital and all other diagnoses that presented like stroke but were subsequently found not to have stroke were also excluded. Composites were created for functional outcome variable and depression. Data were analyzed using logistic regression.
Results
309 subjects were interviewed at a median of 5.5 months post discharge. 12.3% of the patients had died, mostly from recurrent vascular events or stroke complications. Poor functional outcome defined as Modified Rankin Score (mRS) of > 2 and a Barthel Index (BI) score of < 90 was seen in 51%. Older age (Adj-OR-2.1, p = 0.01), moderate to severe dementia (Adj-OR-19.1, p < 0.001), Diabetes (Adj-OR-2.1, p = 0.02) and multiple post stroke complications (Adj-OR-3.6, p = 0.02) were independent predictors of poor functional outcome. Cognitive outcomes were poor in 42% and predictors of moderate to severe dementia were depression (Adj-OR-6.86, p < 0.001), multiple post stroke complications (Adj-OR-4.58, p = 0.01), presence of bed sores (Adj-OR-17.13, p = 0.01) and history of atrial fibrillation (Adj-OR-5.12, p < 0.001).
Conclusions
Pakistani stroke survivors have poor outcomes in the community, mostly from preventable complications. Despite advanced disability, the principal caretakers were family rarely supported by health care personnel, highlighting the need to develop robust home care support for caregivers in these challenging resource poor settings.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-89
PMCID: PMC3296616  PMID: 22321339
19.  Effectiveness of a change in reperfusion strategy to primary percutaneous coronary intervention in a nonselected population 
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology  2009;25(8):e279-e283.
BACKGROUND
Randomized controlled trials have established the clinical superiority of primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) over fibrinolysis for ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in selected populations. However, the clinical effectiveness of the primary PCI strategy with modern adjunctive antiplatelet therapy deserves further evaluation.
OBJECTIVE
To validate results from randomized controlled trials in a nonselected Canadian population.
METHODS
A retrospective study of 243 consecutive patients who presented with a STEMI at a single academic centre was performed. Baseline characteristics, treatment strategies and in-hospital outcomes of patients treated in 2004 to 2005 (n=129) were compared with those of patients treated in 1999 to 2000 (n=114). Logistic regression was used to adjust for imbalanced baseline characteristics.
RESULTS
Patients in the 2004 to 2005 cohort versus those in the 1999 to 2000 cohort were older and more likely to be hypertensive and to present in Killip class 2 to 4. All of the patients treated in 2004 to 2005 underwent a primary PCI strategy compared with 32.5% in the 1999 to 2000 cohort. The in-hospital incidence of death, reinfarction or stroke was reduced from 21.9% in 1999 to 2000, to 15.5% in 2004 to 2005 (adjusted OR 0.462; P=0.055), largely due to a reduction in reinfarction (10.5% to 3.1%, adjusted OR 0.275; P=0.041). In-hospital mortality and stroke rates did not change significantly. The median length of stay was reduced from eight to six days in the recent cohort (P=0.002).
CONCLUSIONS
In the present nonselected population, the change in reperfusion strategy from fibrinolysis to primary PCI in the treatment of STEMI reduced the length of hospitalization by two days and was associated with an adjusted 54% relative reduction in adverse in-hospital events, which was largely due to a significant reduction in reinfarction.
PMCID: PMC2732382  PMID: 19668789
Angioplasty; Health outcomes; Myocardial infarction; Reperfusion
20.  Higher mortality in women after ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in very young patients 
Introduction
Data on mortality in young patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) when compared to older people or regarding therapeutic strategies are contradictory. We investigate the prognosis of women under 40 after STEMI in a prospective nationwide acute coronary syndrome registry.
Material and methods
We analyzed all 527 consecutive men and women (12.3% females) aged from 20 to 40 years (mean 35.7 ±4.5) presenting with STEMI, of all 26035 STEMI patients enrolled.
Results
Differences between genders in the major cardiovascular risk factors, clinical presentation, extent of the disease and time to reperfusion were insignificant. The majority of patients (67%) underwent coronary angiography followed by primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in 79.9% of them. A 92% reperfusion success rate measured by post-procedural TIMI 3 flow was achieved. There were no significant differences between genders in the administration of modern pharmacotherapy both on admission and after discharge from hospital. In-hospital mortality was very low in both genders, but 12-month mortality was significantly higher in women (10.8% vs. 3.0%; p = 0.003). Killip class 3 or 4 on admission (95% CI 19.6-288.4), age per 5-year increase (95% CI 1.01-3.73) and primary PCI (95% CI 0.1-0.93) affected mortality. In patients who underwent reperfusion there was moderately higher mortality in women than in men (7.1% vs. 1.9%; p = 0.046).
Conclusions
Despite little difference in the basic clinical characteristics and the management including a wide use of primary PCI, long-term mortality in women under forty after STEMI is significantly higher than in men.
doi:10.5114/aoms.2013.35324
PMCID: PMC3701974  PMID: 23847662
gender-related difference; ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; myocardial infarction; mortality; young
21.  Clinical Profile and Mortality of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction Patients Receiving Thrombolytic Therapy in the Middle East 
Objective:
Little is known about thrombolytic therapy patterns in patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) in the Middle East. The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical profile and mortality of STEMI patients who arrived in hospital within 12 hours from pain onset and received thrombolytic therapy.
Patients and Methods:
This was a prospective, multinational, multi-centre, observational survey of consecutive acute coronary syndrome patients admitted to 65 hospitals in six Middle Eastern countries during the period between October 2008 and June 2009, as part of Gulf RACE-II (Registry of Acute Coronary Events). Analyses were performed using univariate statistics.
Results:
Out of 2,465 STEMI patients, 66% (n = 1,586) were thrombolysed with namely: streptokinase (43%), reteplase (44%), tenecteplase (10%), and alteplase (3%). 22.7% received no reperfusion. Median age of the study cohort was 50 (45-59) years with majority being males (91%). The overall median symptom onset-to-presentation and door-to-needle times were 165 (95- 272) minutes and 38 (24-60) minutes, respectively. Generally, patients presenting with higher GRACE risk scores were treated with newer thrombolytic agents (reteplase and tenecteplase) (P < 0.001). The use of newer thrombolytic agents was associated with a significantly lower mortality at both 1-month (0.8% vs. 1.7% vs. 4.2%; P = 0.014) and 1-year (0% vs. 1.7% vs. 3.4%; P = 0.044) compared to streptokinase use.
Conclusions:
Majority of STEMI patients from the Middle East were thrombolysed with streptokinase and reteplase in equal numbers. Nearly one-fifth of patients did not receive any reperfusion therapy. There was inappropriately long symptom-onset to hospital presentation as well as door-to-needle times. Use of newer thrombolytic agents in high risk patients was appropriate. Newer thrombolytic agents were associated with significantly lower mortality at 1-month and 1-year compared to the older agent, streptokinase.
doi:10.4103/1995-705X.99224
PMCID: PMC3424777  PMID: 22919446
Acute coronary syndrome; GRACE score; Middle East; mortality; reteplase; STEMI; streptokinase; tenecteplase; thrombolytic therapy
22.  Management of acute coronary syndrome in South Africa: insights from the ACCESS (Acute Coronary Events – a Multinational Survey of Current Management Strategies) registry 
Cardiovascular Journal of Africa  2012;23(7):365-370.
Background
The burden of cardiovascular diseases is predicted to escalate in developing countries. While many studies have reported the descriptive epidemiology, practice patterns and outcomes of patients hospitalised with acute coronary syndromes (ACS), these have largely been confined to the developed nations.
Methods
In this prospective, observational registry, 12 068 adults hospitalised with a diagnosis of ACS were enrolled between January 2007 and January 2008 at 134 sites in 19 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Data on patient characteristics, treatment and outcomes were collected.
Results
Of the 642 patients from South Africa in the registry, 615 had a confirmed ACS diagnosis and form the basis of this report; 41% had a discharge diagnosis of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and 59% a diagnosis of non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS), including 32% with non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) and 27% with unstable angina (UA).
During hospitalisation, most patients received aspirin (94%) and a lipid-lowering medication (91%); 69% received a beta-blocker, and 66% an ACE inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker. Thrombolytic therapy was used in only 18% of subjects (36% of STEMI patients and 5.5% of NSTE-ACS patients). Angiography was undertaken in 93% of patients (61.3% on the first day), of whom 53% had a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and 14% were referred for coronary artery bypass surgery. Drug-eluting stents were used in 57.9% of cases. Clopidogrel was prescribed at discharge from hospital in 62.2% of patients.
All-cause death at 12 months was 5.7%, and was higher in patients with STEMI versus non-ST-elevation ACS (6.7 vs 5.0%, p < 0.0001). Clinical factors associated with higher risk of death at 12 months included age ≥ 70 years, presence of diabetes mellitus on admission, and a history of stroke/transient ischaemic attack (TIA).
Conclusions
In this observational study of ACS patients, the use of evidence-based pharmacological therapies for ACS was quite high. Interventional rates were high compared to international standards, and in particular the use of drug-eluting stents, yet the clinical outcomes (mortality, re-admission rates and severe bleeding episodes at one year) were favourable, with low rates compared with other studies.
doi:10.5830/CVJA-2012-017
PMCID: PMC3721828  PMID: 22447241
acute coronary syndrome; myocardial infarction; unstable angina; registry; death
23.  The Effect of Tobacco Control Measures during a Period of Rising Cardiovascular Disease Risk in India: A Mathematical Model of Myocardial Infarction and Stroke 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001480.
In this paper from Basu and colleagues, a simulation of tobacco control and pharmacological interventions to prevent cardiovascular disease mortality in India predicted that Smokefree laws and increased tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
We simulated tobacco control and pharmacological strategies for preventing cardiovascular deaths in India, the country that is expected to experience more cardiovascular deaths than any other over the next decade.
Methods and Findings
A microsimulation model was developed to quantify the differential effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on myocardial infarction and stroke deaths stratified by age, gender, and urban/rural status for 2013 to 2022. The model incorporated population-representative data from India on multiple risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and cerebrovascular disease. We also included data from India on cigarette smoking, bidi smoking, chewing tobacco, and secondhand smoke. According to the model's results, smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation would likely be the most effective strategy among a menu of tobacco control strategies (including, as well, brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and an advertising ban) for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, while cessation advice would be expected to be the least effective strategy at the population level. In combination, these tobacco control interventions could avert 25% of myocardial infarctions and strokes (95% CI: 17%–34%) if the effects of the interventions are additive. These effects are substantially larger than would be achieved through aspirin, antihypertensive, and statin therapy under most scenarios, because of limited treatment access and adherence; nevertheless, the impacts of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions appear to be markedly synergistic, averting up to one-third of deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke among 20- to 79-y-olds over the next 10 y. Pharmacological therapies could also be considerably more potent with further health system improvements.
Conclusions
Smoke-free laws and substantially increased tobacco taxation appear to be markedly potent population measures to avert future cardiovascular deaths in India. Despite the rise in co-morbid cardiovascular disease risk factors like hyperlipidemia and hypertension in low- and middle-income countries, tobacco control is likely to remain a highly effective strategy to reduce cardiovascular deaths.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are conditions that affect the heart and/or the circulation. In coronary heart disease, for example, narrowing of the heart's blood vessels by fatty deposits slows the blood supply to the heart and may eventually cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Stroke, by contrast, is a CVD in which the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. CVD has been a major cause of illness and death in high-income countries for many years, but the burden of CVD is now rapidly rising in low- and middle-income countries. Indeed, worldwide, three-quarters of all deaths from heart disease and stroke occur in low- and middle-income countries. Smoking, high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol (hyperlipidemia), diabetes, obesity, and physical inactivity all increase an individual's risk of developing CVD. Prevention strategies and treatments for CVD include lifestyle changes (for example, smoking cessation) and taking drugs that lower blood pressure (antihypertensive drugs) or blood cholesterol levels (statins) or thin the blood (aspirin).
Why Was This Study Done?
Because tobacco use is a key risk factor for CVD and for several other noncommunicable diseases, the World Health Organization has developed an international instrument for tobacco control called the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Parties to the FCTC (currently 176 countries) agree to implement a set of core tobacco control provisions including legislation to ban tobacco advertising and to increase tobacco taxes. But will tobacco control measures reduce the burden of CVD effectively in low- and middle-income countries as other risk factors for CVD are becoming more common? In this mathematical modeling study, the researchers investigated this question by simulating the effects of tobacco control measures and pharmacological strategies for preventing CVD on CVD deaths in India. Notably, many of the core FCTC provisions remain poorly implemented or unenforced in India even though it became a party to the convention in 2005. Moreover, experts predict that, over the next decade, this middle-income country will contribute more than any other nation to the global increase in CVD deaths.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers developed a microsimulation model (a computer model that operates at the level of individuals) to quantify the likely effects of various tobacco control measures and pharmacological therapies on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India between 2013 and 2022. They incorporated population-representative data from India on risk factors that affect myocardial infarction and stroke mortality and on tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke into their model. They then simulated the effects of five tobacco control measures—smoke-free legislation, tobacco taxation, provision of brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and advertising bans—and increased access to aspirin, antihypertensive drugs, and statins on deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke. Smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are likely to be the most effective strategies for reducing myocardial infarction and stroke deaths over the next decade, according to the model, and the effects of these strategies are likely to be substantially larger than those achieved by drug therapies under current health system conditions. If the effects of smoke-free legislation and tobacco taxation are additive, the model predicts that these two measures alone could avert about 9 million deaths, that is, a quarter of the expected deaths from myocardial infarction and stroke in India over the next 10 years, and that a combination of tobacco control policies and pharmacological interventions could avert up to a third of these deaths.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the implementation of smoke-free laws and the introduction of increased tobacco taxes in India would yield substantial and rapid health benefits by averting future CVD deaths. The accuracy of these findings is likely to be affected by the many assumptions included in the mathematical model and by the quality of the data fed into it. Importantly, however, these finding suggest that, despite the rise in other CVD risk factors such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia, tobacco control is likely to be a highly effective strategy for the reduction of CVD deaths over the next decade in India and probably in other low- and middle-income countries. Policymakers in these countries should, therefore, work towards fuller and faster implementation of the core FCTC provisions to boost their efforts to reduce deaths from CVD.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001480.
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease; its website includes personal stories about heart attacks and stroke
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information on heart disease and on stroke (in English and Spanish
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about cardiovascular disease and stroke
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information on heart diseases, vascular diseases, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The World Health Organization provides information (in several languages) about the dangers of tobacco, about the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and about noncommunicable diseases; its Global Noncommunicable Disease Network (NCDnet) aims to help low- and middle- income countries reduce illness and death caused by CVD and other noncommunicable diseases
SmokeFree, a website provided by the UK National Health Service, offers advice on quitting smoking and includes personal stories from people who have stopped smoking
Smokefree.gov, supported by the US National Cancer Institute and other US agencies, offers online tools and resources to help people quit smoking
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001480
PMCID: PMC3706364  PMID: 23874160
24.  Baseline characteristics, management practices, and in-hospital outcomes of patients with acute coronary syndromes: Results of the Saudi project for assessment of coronary events (SPACE) registry 
Objectives
The Saudi Project for Assessment of Coronary Events (SPACE) registry is the first in Saudi Arabia to study the clinical features, management, and in-hospital outcomes of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients.
Methods
We conducted a prospective registry study in 17 hospitals in Saudi Arabia between December 2005 and December 2007. ACS patients included those with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), non-ST elevation myocardial infarction and unstable angina; both were reported collectively as NSTEACS (non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome).
Results
5055 patients were enrolled with mean age ± SD of 58 ± 12.9 years; 77.4% men, 82.4% Saudi nationals; 41.5% had STEMI, and 5.1% arrived at the hospital by ambulance. History of diabetes mellitus was present in 58.1%, hypertension in 55.3%, hyperlipidemia in 41.1%, and 32.8% were current smokers; all these were more common in NSTEACS patients, except for smoking (all P < 0.0001). In-hospital medications were: aspirin (97.7%), clopidogrel (83.7%), beta-blockers (81.6%), angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors/angiotensin receptor blockers (75.1%), and statins (93.3%). Median time from symptom onset to hospital arrival for STEMI patients was 150 min (IQR: 223), 17.5% had primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), 69.1% had thrombolytic therapy, and 14.8% received it at less than 30 min of hospital arrival. In-hospital outcomes included recurrent myocardial infarction (1.5%), recurrent ischemia (12.6%), cardiogenic shock (4.3%), stroke (0.9%), major bleeding (1.3%). In-hospital mortality was 3.0%.
Conclusion
ACS patients in Saudi Arabia present at a younger age, have much higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus, less access to ambulance use, delayed treatment by thrombolytic therapy, and less primary PCI compared with patients in the developed countries. This is the first national ACS registry in our country and it demonstrated knowledge-care gaps that require further improvements.
doi:10.1016/j.jsha.2011.05.004
PMCID: PMC3727434  PMID: 23960654
Acute coronary syndromes; Acute myocardial infarction; Unstable angina; Registry; Saudi Arabia; Middle East
25.  Risk factors, quality of care and prognosis in South Asian, East Asian and White patients with stroke 
BMC Neurology  2013;13:74.
Background
Stroke has emerged as a significant and escalating health problem for Asian populations. We compared risk factors, quality of care and risk of death or recurrent stroke in South Asian, East Asian and White patients with acute ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
Methods
Retrospective analysis was performed on consecutive patients with ischemic stroke or intracerebral hemorrhage admitted to 12 stroke centers in Ontario, Canada (July 2003-March 2008) and included in the Registry of the Canadian Stroke Network database. The database was linked to population-based administrative databases to determine one-year risk of death or recurrent stroke.
Results
The study included 253 South Asian, 513 East Asian and 8231 White patients. East Asian patients were more likely to present with intracerebral hemorrhage (30%) compared to South Asian (17%) or White patients (15%) (p<0.001). Time from stroke to hospital arrival was similarly poor with delays >2 hours for more than two thirds of patients in all ethnic groups. Processes of stroke care, including thrombolysis, diagnostic imaging, antithrombotic medications, and rehabilitation services were similar among ethnic groups. Risk of death or recurrent stroke at one year after ischemic stroke was similar for patients who were White (27.6%), East Asian (24.7%, aHR 0.97, 95% CI 0.78-1.21 vs. White), or South Asian (21.9%, aHR 0.91, 95% CI 0.67-1.24 vs. White). Although risk of death or recurrent stroke at one year after intracerebral hemorrhage was higher in East Asian (35.5%) and White patients (47.9%) compared to South Asian patients (30.2%) (p=0.002), these differences disappeared after adjustment for age, sex, stroke severity and comorbid conditions (aHR 0.89 [0.67-1.19] for East Asian vs White and 0.99 [0.54-1.81] for South Asian vs. White).
Conclusion
After stratification by stroke type, stroke care and outcomes are similar across ethnic groups in Ontario. Enhanced health promotion is needed to reduce delays to hospital for all ethnic groups.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-13-74
PMCID: PMC3726470  PMID: 23829874

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