Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 201-206

Stroke incidence and outcome disparity in Rural regions of Southern West Virginia

1 CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, Charleston, WV, USA
2 CAMC Vascular Center of Excellence, Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, WV, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Frank Harrison Annie
CAMC Health Education and Research Institute, 3200 MacCorkle Ave. SE, Charleston, WV 25304
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_191_20

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Introduction: West Virginia has the highest incidence of obesity, smoking, and diabetes within the United States, placing its population at higher risk of stroke. In addition to these endemic risk factors, Appalachia faces various socioeconomic and health care access challenges that could negatively impact stroke incidence and outcomes. At present, there are limited data regarding geographic variables on stroke outcomes in rural Appalachia. We set out to quantify Appalachian geographic patterns of stroke incidence and outcomes. Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of all patients hospitalized with a diagnosis of stroke in West Virginia's largest tertiary hospital. During the study (2000–2018), 14,488 patients were analyzed, with an emphasis on those who died from stroke (n = 1022). We first used institutional ICD-9/10 data alongside demographics information and chart reviews to evaluate disease patterns while also exploring emerging hot spot pattern changes over time; we then exploited an emerging time series analysis using temporal trends to assess differing instances of stroke occurrence regionally with hot spots defined as higher than expected incidences of stroke and stroke death. Results: Data analysis revealed several hot spots of increasing stroke and mortality rates, many of which achieved statistically significant variance compared to expected norms (P = 0.001). Moreover, this study revealed high-risk zones in rural West Virginia wherein the incidence and mortality rates of stroke are suggestively higher and less resistance to economic change than urban centers. Conclusions: Stroke incidence and mortality were found to be higher than expected in many areas of rural West Virginia. The higher stroke risk populations correlate with area that may be impacted by socioeconomic factors and limited access to primary care. These high-risk areas may therefore benefit from investments in infrastructure, patient education, and unrestricted primary care.

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