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Women experience worse outcomes after a stroke

Wednesday 30th May 2018
A new study has indicated that women generally experience worse functional outcomes after a stroke, while highlighting several reasons why this might be the case.
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Women who experience a stroke may require more intensive occupational therapy than men after the event, according to the findings of a new study.

The research, led by the University of Tasmania and published in the medical journal Neurology, has revealed that women are generally at a greater risk of poor functional outcomes after stroke compared with men, and that these effects are more likely to limit their involvement in everyday activities.

To carry out this research, the team looked at the findings of 11 previous stroke incidence studies, comparing the likelihood of poor health outcomes between women and men over a five-year period, while taking into account socioeconomic factors and other potential influences.

It was shown that women generally experienced worse functional outcomes and participation restriction after stroke than men, with a number of factors contributing to this trend. This included the fact that female stroke patients were generally older than their male counterparts and often cohabited with a spouse, meaning they were more likely to be living as a dependent even before the stroke incident.

The researchers concluded: "Worse outcomes after stroke among women were explained mostly by age, stroke severity and prestroke dependency, suggesting these potential targets to improve the outcomes after stroke in women."

In England, it is estimated that one in six people will have a stroke in their lifetime, with around 30 per cent of people who have a stroke going on to experience another one. This condition is a leading cause of death and disability, with around 32,000 stroke-related deaths in England each year.

The average age for women to have a stroke was 73 as of 2016, which is younger than the average age of 75 recorded in 2007. The corresponding figure for men fell from 71 to 68 years over the same period.

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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