Polysomnography Utilization in Veterans Presenting Acutely with Ischemic Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack

Brian B. Koo, Jason J. Sico, Laura J. Myers, Anthony J. Perkins, Deborah Levine, Edward J. Miech, Teresa M. Damush, Nicholas Rattray, Barbara Homoya, Jared Ferguson, Jennifer Myers, Ying Zhang, Dawn M. Bravata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an independent cerebrovascular risk factor and highly prevalent in patients with ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Timely diagnosis and treatment of OSA is important as clinical data suggest that treatment of OSA in the setting of acute ischemic stroke improves functional outcomes. We aimed to assess polysomnography (PSG) utilization in US. Veterans with acute stroke or TIA over a 2-year period. Methods: Veterans with acute ischemic stroke or TIA presenting to a Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) between October 1, 2015, and June 30, 2017, were included. Demographic, clinical data, and PSG within 12 months of hospital discharge were obtained from the VA Corporate Data Warehouse to determine the rate of PSG testing among those with acute ischemic stroke or TIA. Fisher's exact test and two-sample t tests were used to compare demographic and clinical characteristics for those receiving and not receiving PSG. Mixed effect logistic regression was used to model the association of clinical and demographic characteristics with PSG receipt. Results: In fiscal years (FYs) 2016 and 2017, 9,200 Veterans were admitted to a VAMC with ischemic stroke (6,011) or TIA (3,089). Veterans were elderly (70.5 ± 11.1 years), predominantly male (95.7%), and largely Caucasian (68.0% Caucasian, 26.3% African-American). Just 6.0% of Veterans underwent PSG within 1 year of acute ischemic stroke or TIA in FY 2016, compared to 6.2% in FY 2017 (p = 0.72). Compared to Veterans ≥80 years, those <60 had adjusted OR of 6.73 (4.10-11.05), those 60-69 had OR 4.29 (2.73-6.74), and those 70-79 had OR 2.63 (1.66-4.18) of having PSG. Veterans with diabetes or heart failure had significantly higher odds, whereas those with dementia had significantly lower odds of receiving PSG. Conclusion: PSG utilization among US Veterans is low and stable over time, despite recent guidelines recommending PSG among those having stroke or TIA. Older Veterans and those with dementia were unlikely to get PSG, representing especially vulnerable populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalCerebrovascular Diseases
Issue number3-6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Polysomnography
  • Stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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