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PLoS One. 2015 Jun 29;10(6):e0131836. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131836. eCollection 2015.

Mortality following Stroke, the Weekend Effect and Related Factors: Record Linkage Study.

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College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom.
College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, United Kingdom; West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen, United Kingdom.



Increased mortality following hospitalisation for stroke has been reported from many but not all studies that have investigated a 'weekend effect' for stroke. However, it is not known whether the weekend effect is affected by factors including hospital size, season and patient distance from hospital.


To assess changes over time in mortality following hospitalisation for stroke and how any increased mortality for admissions on weekends is related to factors including the size of the hospital, seasonal factors and distance from hospital.


A population study using person linked inpatient, mortality and primary care data for stroke from 2004 to 2012. The outcome measures were, firstly, mortality at seven days and secondly, mortality at 30 days and one year.


Overall mortality for 37 888 people hospitalised following stroke was 11.6% at seven days, 21.4% at 30 days and 37.7% at one year. Mortality at seven and 30 days fell significantly by 1.7% and 3.1% per annum respectively from 2004 to 2012. When compared with week days, mortality at seven days was increased significantly by 19% for admissions on weekends, although the admission rate was 21% lower on weekends. Although not significant, there were indications of increased mortality at seven days for weekend admissions during winter months (31%), in community (81%) rather than large hospitals (8%) and for patients resident furthest from hospital (32% for distances of >20 kilometres). The weekend effect was significantly increased (by 39%) for strokes of 'unspecified' subtype.


Mortality following stroke has fallen over time. Mortality was increased for admissions at weekends, when compared with normal week days, but may be influenced by a higher stroke severity threshold for admission on weekends. Other than for unspecified strokes, we found no significant variation in the weekend effect for hospital size, season and distance from hospital.

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