Impact of heart rate on admission on mortality and morbidity in acute ischaemic stroke patients – results from VISTA

C. H. Nolte, H. Erdur, U. Grittner, A. Schneider, S. K. Piper, J. F. Scheitz, I. Wellwood, P. M W Bath, H. C. Diener, K. R. Lees, M. Endres, A. Alexandrov, E. Bluhmki, N. Bornstein, C. Chen, L. Claesson, S. M. Davis, G. Donnan, M. Fisher, M. GinsbergB. Gregson, J. Grotta, W. Hacke, M. G. Hennerici, M. Hommel, M. Kaste, P. Lyden, J. Marler, K. Muir, R. Sacco, A. Shuaib, P. Teal, N. Venketasubramanian, N. G. Wahlgren, S. Warach, C. Weimar, for the VISTA collaborators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background and purpose: Elevated heart rate (HR) is associated with worse outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease. Its predictive value in acute stroke patients is less well established. We investigated the effects of HR on admission in acute ischaemic stroke patients. Methods: Using the Virtual International Stroke Trials Archive (VISTA) database, the association between HR in acute stroke patients without atrial fibrillation and the pre-defined composite end-point of (recurrent) ischaemic stroke, transient ischaemic attack (TIA), myocardial infarction (MI) and vascular death within 90 days was analysed. Pre-defined secondary outcomes were the composite end-point components and any death, decompensated heart failure and degree of functional dependence according to the modified Rankin Scale after 90 days. HR was analysed as a categorical variable (quartiles). Results: In all, 5606 patients were available for analysis (mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale 13; mean age 67 years; mean HR 77 bpm; 44% female) amongst whom the composite end-point occurred in 620 patients (11.1%). Higher HR was not associated with the composite end-point. The frequencies of secondary outcomes were 3.2% recurrent stroke (n = 179), 0.6% TIA (n = 35), 1.8% MI (n = 100), 6.8% vascular death (n = 384), 15.0% any death (n = 841) and 2.2% decompensated heart failure (n = 124). Patients in the highest quartile (HR> 86 bpm) were at increased risk for any death [adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) 1.40 (1.11–1.75)], decompensated heart failure [adjusted hazard ratio 2.20 (1.11–4.37)] and worse modified Rankin Scale [adjusted odds ratio 1.29 (1.14–1.52)]. Conclusions: In acute stroke patients, higher HR (>86 bpm) is linked to mortality, heart failure and higher degree of dependence after 90 days but not to recurrent stroke, TIA or MI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1750-1756
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • acute stroke
  • heart failure
  • heart rate
  • mortality
  • recurrent stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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