Alcohol withdrawal is associated with poorer outcome in acute ischemic stroke

Emmanuel O. Akano, Fadar Oliver Otite, Seemant Chaturvedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between alcohol abuse (AA) and alcohol withdrawal (AW) with acute ischemic stroke (AIS) outcomes. METHODS: All adult AIS admissions in the United States from 2004 to 2014 were identified from the National Inpatient Sample (weighted n = 4,438,968). Multivariable-adjusted models were used to evaluate the association of AW with in-hospital medical complications, mortality, cost, and length of stay in patients with AIS. RESULTS: Of the AA admissions, 10.6% of patients, representing 0.4% of all AIS, developed AW. The prevalence of AA and AW in AIS increased by 45.2% and 40.0%, respectively, over time (p for trend <0.001). Patients with AA were predominantly men (80.2%), white (65.9%), and in the 40- to 59-year (44.6%) and 60- to 79-year (45.6%) age groups. After multivariable adjustment, AIS admissions with AW had >50% increased odds of urinary tract infection, pneumonia, sepsis, gastrointestinal bleeding, deep venous thrombosis, and acute renal failure compared to those without AW. Patients with AW were also 32% more likely to die during their AIS hospitalization compared to those without AW (odds ratio 1.32, 95% confidence interval 1.11-1.58). AW was associated with ≈15-day increase in length of stay and ≈$5,000 increase in hospitalization cost (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: AW is associated with increased cost, longer hospitalizations, and higher odds of medical complications and in-hospital mortality after AIS. Proactive surveillance and management of AW may be important in improving outcomes in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1944-e1954
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 19 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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