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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