Objectives: To compare in-hospital mortality between intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) patients in rural hospitals to those in urban hospitals of the USA. Methods: We used the National Inpatient Sample to retrospectively identify all cases of ICH in the USA over the period 2004–2014. We used multivariable-adjusted models to compare odds of mortality between rural and urban hospitals. Joinpoint regression was used to evaluate trends in age- and sex-adjusted mortality in rural and urban hospitals over time. Results: From 2004 to 2014, 5.8% of ICH patients were admitted in rural hospitals. Rural patients were older (mean [SE] 76.0 [0.44] years vs. 68.8 [0.11] years in urban), more likely to be white and have Medicare insurance. Age- and sex-adjusted mortality was greater in rural hospitals (32.2%) compared to urban patients (26.5%) (p value < 0.001). After multivariable adjustment, patients hospitalized in rural hospitals had two times the odds of in-hospital death compared to patients in urban hospitals (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.77–2.41. p value < 0.001). After joinpoint regression, mortality declined in urban hospitals by an average of 2.8% per year (average annual percentage change, [AAPC] − 2.8%, 95% CI − 3.7 to − 1.8%), but rates in rural hospitals remained unchanged (AAPC − 0.54%, 95% CI − 1.66 to 0.58%). Conclusions: Despite current efforts to reduce disparity in stroke care, ICH patients hospitalized in rural hospitals had two times the odds of dying compared to those in urban hospitals. In addition, the ICH mortality gap between rural and urban centers is increasing. Further studies are needed to identify and reverse the causes of this disparity.
- Healthcare disparity
- Intracerebral hemorrhage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine