Introduction Many studies have focused on short term mortality after primary intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) whereas long term prognosis and causes of death have been less studied. We therefore examined these issues in a population based cohort of 1 year ICH survivors.
Methods ICH patients in a defined Swedish population (1.14 million inhabitants) were prospectively registered during 1996. Patients surviving 1 year after ICH onset were followed-up regarding survival status and cause of death until December 2009 using data from the National Census Office and the National Cause of Death Register. Patient prognosis was also compared with the general population using official Swedish mortality data. Clinical and radiological prognostic factors were evaluated.
Results Of 323 patients with ICH, 172 (53%) survived after 1 year, 127 (39%) after 5 years and 57 (18%) after 13 years. Mortality of the 172, 1 year survivors (mean age 67.7 years at ICH) persistently exceeded expected mortality; 13 years post ictus survival was only 34% compared with 61% in the general population. Of 115 deaths among the 172, 1 year survivors, 36% were from cerebrovascular disease and 19% from ischaemic heart disease. Independent risk factors for death among 1 year survivors were age (HR 1.08 per year; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.10; p<0.001), diabetes mellitus at baseline (HR 2.10; 95% CI 1.18 to 3.74; p=0.012) and anticoagulant therapy (HR 1.99; 95% CI 1.12 to 3.53; p=0.018) at ICH onset.
Conclusions One year survivors after ICH had a substantial and persisting excess mortality compared with the general population. Major causes of death were stroke and ischaemic heart disease.
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