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August 1, 1996

Factors delaying hospital admission in acute stroke
The Copenhagen Stroke Study

August 1996 issue
47 (2) 383-387


Medical treatment of stroke is dependent on a narrow therapeutic time window.We prospectively analyzed the influence of demographic, medical, and pathophysiologic factors on admission delay in 1,197 unselected, acute stroke patients. Twenty five percent were admitted within 3 1/2 hours, 35% within 6 hours, 50% within 14 hours, and 68% within 24 hours after stroke onset. Living alone (odds ratio [OR] 1.75, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.3) and retired working status (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.54) delayed admission. A well-working social network thus seems important to early admission. The milder the stroke, the higher was the risk of delayed admission (OR 1.25 per 10 points decrease in stroke severity [Scandinavian Neurological Stroke Scale score on admission], 95% CI 1.14 to 1.36). A history of TIA increased the relative chance of early admission by odds 1.64 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.54). Other factors such as age, sex, diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, other comorbidity, previous stroke, headache, aphasia, apraxia, anosognosia, neglect, lowered consciousness, mental status (Mini-Mental State Examination) and type of stroke (hemorrhage/infarct) had no independent influence on admission time. Admission was markedly delayed in most patients. This represents a major barrier to medical treatment. Patients with the most severe strokes are admitted early, but patients with milder symptoms should also be encouraged to seek immediate admission. The observation that a history of TIA reduced admission time indicates that an increase in public awareness and knowledge may reduce delay and save precious time.
NEUROLOGY 1996;47: 383-387

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Published In

Volume 47Number 2August 1996
Pages: 383-387
PubMed: 8757008

Publication History

Published online: August 1, 1996
Published in print: August 1996


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Affiliations & Disclosures

From the departments of Neurology (Drs. Jorgensen, Nakayama, Reith, and Olsen) and Radiology (Dr. Raaschou), Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Supported by grants from The Danish Health Foundation, The Danish Heart Foundation, Ebba Celinders Foundation, and The Gangsted Foundation.
Received November 30, 1995. Accepted in final form January 26, 1996.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Henrik Stig Jorgensen, Department of Neurology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Bispebjerg Bakke 23, DK-2400 Copenhagen NV, Denmark.

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