Background: Stroke is a major health issue in China. Aims: We aimed to describe the management of patients admitted to hospitals in China with acute ischaemic stroke, and to determine whether there were any differences by age and gender. Methods: Using a multicentre prospective hospital register across all eight major economic (geographic) regions in China, data on the socioeconomic characteristics, medical history, clinical features, and in-hospital investigations, management, and outcomes were collected on consecutive patients with acute stroke due to cerebral ischaemia during a 5-month period in 2006. Results: Overall, traditional Chinese medicine and neuroprotectant use were remarkably high, with nearly 80% of patients receiving the former and >70% receiving the latter in hospital. Length of hospital stay was also long (median duration 16-days). Multivariate analyses revealed no clinically important differences in management between the genders. For the age-specific analyses, there were significant trends of decreasing use of thrombolysis (P=0·04), warfarin (P=0·01), corticosteroids (P=0·03), and lipid-lowering therapy (P=0·001); however, more assisted feeding (P=0·004) and rising rates of disability and in-hospital complications occurred with increasing age. Conclusions: New information is provided regarding the current state of ischaemic stroke management in China. Notably, there is high use of traditional Chinese medicine and neuroprotectants and long lengths of hospital stay. Similar to many other countries, differences in stroke care and management by age and gender also exist to a small extent in China.
- Clinical practice