Rates of complications associated with dysphagia in an Australian acute stroke population.

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstract


Background: Complications associated with stroke-related dysphagia, such as aspiration pneumonia are known to lead to increased mortality and morbidity. Other complications of dysphagia due to inadequate fluid intake, such as dehydration and urinary tract infection (UTI), have not been widely addressed.
Aim: To determine whether adverse health outcomes of aspiration pneumonia, dehydration, UTI and constipation were more common after stroke than a matched non-stroke hospital population, especially as they occurred in association with dysphagia.
Method: Retrospective analysis of ICD-10AM coded data extracted from the Integrated South Australian Activity Collection (ISAAC) for stroke admissions at four metropolitan hospitals in South Australia from 2000/2001 to 2013/2014. These data were compared with non-stroke hospitalisations matched on age, sex, Charlson index, hospital of admission, length of stay and financial year of admission.
Results: Of the 22,512 stroke admissions, 17.3% had a diagnosis of dysphagia, 16% died while in hospital, 11.4% were coded with UTI, 6.2% with aspiration pneumonia, 5.9% with dehydration and 2.8% with constipation. In direct comparison, the stroke cohort had significantly higher rates of dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia, but significantly lower rates of dehydration and constipation than the matched non-stroke sample. The rates of all complications for the sub-sample of stroke patients coded with dysphagia, were significantly higher compared with the stroke patients without dysphagia and the matched controls.
Conclusion: Dysphagia is associated with higher rates of aspiration pneumonia, dehydration, UTI and constipation than a general stroke or non-stroke hospitalised population, which warrants further prospective investigation of causes and effective management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number73
Pages (from-to)9
Number of pages1
JournalInternational Journal of Stroke
Issue number1 Supp
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
EventSTROKE 2018: Bridging the continuum - International Convention Centre Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 7 Aug 201810 Oct 2018


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