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Stroke Cuts Three to Five Years of Quality Life

Update Date: Oct 09, 2013 05:58 PM EDT

Suffering a stroke may shave three to five quality years off your life, according to new research.

Researchers said that the latest findings highlight the need for improvement in stroke treatment.

"These results highlight the severe toll that stroke takes on millions of people every year," study author Peter M. Rothwell, FMedSci, a professor with the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, United Kingdom said in a news release. "This is the first study since the 1990s to look at long-term quality of life after stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA)."

The study involved 748 people who experienced stroke and 440 who had a TIA. The participants were followed for five years. Participants also filled out questionnaires that measured the quality of their life. Participants were then compared to an age-matched control group.

Researchers found that out of a possible five years of perfect health, people who had suffered stroke lost on average 1.71 years sue to earlier death and another 1.08 years due to reduced quality of life.

The study found that the results varied greatly depending on severity of stroke. People who suffered minor stroke lost on average 2.06 years of quality life. Those who suffered moderate and severe stroke lost on average 3.35 and 4.3 quality years.  Researchers noted that people with TIA lost on average 1.68 fewer quality-adjusted life years.

"Our study should serve as a wake-up call that we need more funding and research for stroke treatments and secondary stroke prevention measures to improve quality of life in stroke survivors," said Rothwell.

The findings are published in the journal Neurology

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