Lower risk of stroke after deformity surgery: Long term benefit demonstrated by a national cohort study

Liang Chung Huang, Wu Fu Chung, Shih Wei Liu, Peng Yuan Chang, Li Fu Chen*, Jau Ching Wu, Yu Chun Chen, Wen Cheng Huang, Laura Liu, Henrich Cheng, Su Shun Lo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the long-term risk of stroke in adult patients with spinal deformity. Specifically, the study addressed the possible protective effect of surgery for spinal deformity against stroke. Methods: Using the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), a monopolistic national database in Taiwan, this retrospective cohort study analyzed the incidence of stroke in patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD) in a 11-year period. A total of 13,503 patients, between 55 and 75 years old, were identified for the diagnosis of ASD. The patients were grouped into two: the surgical group (n = 10,439) who received spinal fusion surgery, and the control group (n = 2124) who received other medical treatment. The incidence rates of all subsequent cerebrovascular accidents, including ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes, were calculated. Hazard ratios for stroke were calculated use a full cohort and a propensity score matched cohort. Adjustments for co-morbidities that may predispose to stroke, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, arrhythmia and coronary heart disease were conducted. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were performed to compare the risk of stroke between the two groups. Results: During the total observation period of 50,450 person-years, the incidence rate of stroke in the surgical group (15.55 per 1000 person-years) was significantly lower than that of the control group (20.89 per 1000 person-years, p < 0.001). Stroke was more likely to occur in the control group than in the surgical group (crude hazard ratio 1.34, p < 0.001; adjusted HR 1.28, p < 0.001, by a propensity score matched model). Conclusions: In this national cohort of more than 13,000 ASD patients covering 10 years, stroke was approximately 25% less likely to happen in patients who underwent spinal fusion surgery than those who received medical management. Therefore, spinal fusion surgery may provide a protective effect against stroke in adult patients with spinal deformity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA40
Pages (from-to)12618-12627
Number of pages10
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number10
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2015


  • Adult spinal deformity (ASD)
  • National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD)
  • Spinal fusion surgery
  • Stroke


Dive into the research topics of 'Lower risk of stroke after deformity surgery: Long term benefit demonstrated by a national cohort study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this