Effect of Comorbidity Assessed by the Charlson Comorbidity Index on the Length of Stay, Costs and Mortality among Older Adults Hospitalised for Acute Stroke

Richard Ofori-Asenso, Ella Zomer, Ken Lee Chin, Si Si, Peter Markey, Mark Tacey, Andrea J. Curtis, Sophia Zoungas, Danny Liew

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The burden of comorbidity among stroke patients is high. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of comorbidity on the length of stay (LOS), costs, and mortality among older adults hospitalised for acute stroke. Among 776 older adults (mean age 80.1 ± 8.3 years; 46.7% female) hospitalised for acute stroke during July 2013 to December 2015 at a tertiary hospital in Melbourne, Australia, we collected data on LOS, costs, and discharge outcomes. Comorbidity was assessed via the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), where a CCI score of 0⁻1 was considered low and a CCI ≥ 2 was high. Negative binomial regression and quantile regression were applied to examine the association between CCI and LOS and cost, respectively. Survival was evaluated with the Kaplan⁻Meier and Cox regression analyses. The median LOS was 1.1 days longer for patients with high CCI than for those with low CCI. In-hospital mortality rate was 18.2% (22.1% for high CCI versus 11.8% for low CCI, p < 0.0001). After controlling for confounders, high CCI was associated with longer LOS (incidence rate ratio [IRR]; 1.35, p < 0.0001) and increased likelihood of in-hospital death (hazard ratio [HR]; 1.91, p = 0.003). The adjusted median, 25th, and 75th percentile costs were AUD$2483 (26.1%), AUD$1446 (28.1%), and AUD$3140 (27.9%) higher for patients with high CCI than for those with low CCI. Among older adults hospitalised for acute stroke, higher global comorbidity (CCI ≥ 2) was associated adverse clinical outcomes. Measures to better manage comorbidities should be considered as part of wider strategies towards mitigating the social and economic impacts of stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2532
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018


  • cerebrovascular disease
  • comorbidity
  • cost
  • hospitalisation
  • stroke

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