• cardiovascular;
  • infection;
  • models;
  • readmission;
  • Scotland;
  • stroke

Background and aims

Stroke is widely recognized as the major contributor to morbidity and mortality in the United Kingdom. We analyzed the data obtained from the three consecutive Scottish Health Surveys and the Scottish Morbidity records, with the aim of identifying risk factors for, and timing of, common poststroke complications.


There were 19434 individuals sampled during three Scottish Health Surveys in 1995, 1998, and 2001. For these individuals their morbidity and mortality outcomes were obtained in 2007. Incident stroke prevalence, risk factors for a range of poststroke complications, and average times until such complications in the sample were established.


Of the total of 168 incident stroke admissions (0·86% of the survey), 16·1% people died during incident stroke hospitalization. Of the remaining 141 stroke survivors, 75·2% were rehospitalized at least once. The most frequent reason for readmission after stroke was a cardiovascular complication (28·6%), median time until event 1412 days, followed by infection (17·3%, median 1591 days). The risk of cardiovascular readmission was higher in those with ‘poor’ self-assessed health (odds ratio 7·70; 95% confidence interval 1·64–43·27), smokers (odds ratio 4·24; 95% confidence interval 1·11–21·59), and doubled with every five years increase in age (odds ratio 1·97; 95% confidence interval 1·46–2·65). ‘Poor’ self-assessed health increased chance of readmission for infection (odds ratio 14·11; 95% confidence interval 2·27–276·56).


Cardiovascular events and infections are the most frequent poststroke complications resulting in readmissions. The time period until event provides a possibility to focus monitoring on those people at risk of readmission and introduce preventative measures, thereby reducing readmission-associated costs.