Risk of 28-day readmissions among stroke patients in Malaysia (2008–2015): Trends, causes and its associated factors

Swee Hung Ang*, Wen Yea Hwong, Michiel L. Bots, Sheamini Sivasampu, Aznida Firzah Abdul Aziz, Fan Kee Hoo, Ilonca Vaartjes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Risk of readmissions is an important quality indicator for stroke care. Such information is limited among low- and middle-income countries. We assessed the trends for 28-day readmissions after a stroke in Malaysia from 2008 to 2015 and evaluated the causes and factors associated with readmissions in 2015.

METHODS: Using the national hospital admission records database, we included all stroke patients who were discharged alive between 2008 and 2015 for this secondary data analysis. The risk of readmissions was described in proportion and trends. Reasons were coded according to the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with readmissions.

RESULTS: Among 151729 patients, 11 to 13% were readmitted within 28 days post-discharge from their stroke events each year. The trend was constant for ischemic stroke but decreasing for hemorrhagic stroke. The leading causes for readmissions were recurrent stroke (32.1%), pneumonia (13.0%) and sepsis (4.8%). The risk of 28-day readmission was higher among those with stroke of hemorrhagic (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.52) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (AOR: 2.56) subtypes, and length of index admission >3 days (AOR: 1.48), but lower among younger age groups of 35-64 (AORs: 0.61-0.75), p values <0.001.

CONCLUSION: The risk of 28-day readmission remained constant from 2008 to 2015, where one in eight stroke patients required readmission, mainly attributable to preventable causes. Age, ethnicity, stroke subtypes and duration of the index admission influenced the risk of readmission. Efforts should focus on minimizing potentially preventable admissions, especially among those at higher risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0245448
Pages (from-to)1-14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021


  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaysia/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission
  • Pneumonia/complications
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis/complications
  • Stroke/epidemiology
  • Young Adult


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