Women have worse quality of life than men after stroke

A recent study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center showed that women have lower quality of life than men following stroke.

The study, which included 1,370 men and women aged 56 to 77 years, from the AVAIL registry — a national, multicenter, longitudinal registry of ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients — compared patients’ quality of life at 3 months and 1 year following a stroke or TIA.

Findings showed that at 3 months, women were more likely than men to report problems with mobility, pain, discomfort, depression and anxiety.

After 1 year, women still had lower quality of life scores than men, but the magnitude of those differences had diminished, according to Cheryl Bushnell, MD, associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist and senior author of the study.

“We found that age, race and marital status accounted for the biggest differences between men and women, with marital status being the most important,” Bushnell stated in a press release. “Even though the women in the study were older than the men…age had very little effect on quality of life.

“As more people survive strokes, physicians and other health care providers should pay attention to quality of life issues and work to develop better interventions, even gender-specific screening tools, to improve these patients’ lives,” Bushnell said.

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