Trends in age and sex-specific prevalence of cancer and cancer subtypes in acute ischemic stroke from 2007-2019



      To describe age and sex-specific prevalence of cancer in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) hospitalizations in the United States over the last decade.


      We conducted a retrospective serial cross-sectional study using all primary AIS discharges (weighted n=5,748,358) with and without cancer in the 2007-2019 National Inpatient Sample. Admissions with primary central nervous system cancers were excluded. Joinpoint regression was used to compute the average annualized percentage change (AAPC) in cancer prevalence over time.


      Across the study period, 12.7% of AIS admissions had previous/active cancer, while 4.4% had active cancer. Of these, 18.8% were hematologic cancers, 47.2% were solid cancers without metastasis and 34.0% were metastatic cancers of any type. Age-adjusted active cancer prevalence differed by sex (males:4.8%; females:4.0%) and increased with age up to age 70-79 years (30-39 years 1.4%; 70-79 years:5.7%). Amongst cancer admissions, lung (18.7%) and prostate (17.8%) were the most common solid cancers in men, while lung (19.6%) and breast (13.7%) were the most prevalent in women. Active cancer prevalence increased over time (AAPC 1.7%, p<0.05) but the pace of increase was significantly faster in women (AAPC 2.8%) compared to men (AAPC 1.1%) (p-comparison =0.003). Fastest pace of increased prevalence was seen for genitourinary cancers in women and for gastrointestinal cancers in both sexes. Genitourinary cancers in men declined over time (AAPC -2.5%, p<0.05). Lung cancer prevalence increased in women (AAPC 1.8%, p<0.05) but remained constant in men. Prevalence of head/neck, skin/bone, gastrointestinal, hematological and metastatic cancers increased over time at similar pace in both sexes.


      Prevalence of cancer in AIS admissions increased in the US over the last decade but the pace of this increase was faster in women compared to men. Gastrointestinal cancers in both sexes and genitourinary cancers in women are increasing at the fastest pace. Additional studies are needed to determine whether this increase is from co-occurrence or causation of AIS by cancer.


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