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Women, minorities report lower function in the months after stroke

Female and minority stroke survivors reported less ability to function three months after their strokes than males and Caucasian patients, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.

Researchers mailed the Stroke Impact Score questionnaire to survivors who had sufferedischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke). The 129 patients answered questions about their mobility, arm strength and ability to do tasks associated with daily living three months after their strokes. The researchers calculated average scores when patients rated difficulties in 16 areas, for a total score ranging from zero (worst) to 100 (best).

The researchers found:

  • The overall average score was fairly high at 81.1. However, men scored an average 85.7, while women had an average 75.8, indicating lower functioning than men.
  • While white patients reported an average 85.4 points on the scale, non-white patients reported an average 69.4.
  • It wasn’t as clear a finding, but it seemed that patients who had prior strokes or TIAs had lower functioning ability than those whose first stroke or TIA occurred three months earlier.

Future healthcare quality improvement projects on stroke patients should focus on improving post-stroke functioning among women, minorities and patients who have had multiple strokes, according to the authors.