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Strokes Wreck Women's Lives More Than Men

Update Date: Feb 07, 2014 06:36 PM EST
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Strokes wreck women's lives more than men, according to a new study on quality of life.

Researchers found that women who've suffered strokes have a worse quality of life than men.

The latest study involved a total of 1,370 patients ages 56 to 77 from the AVAIL registry, a national, multicenter, longitudinal registry of ischemic stroke and transient ischemic attack patients.

Researchers assessed patients' quality of life at three months and one year after a stroke or transient ischemic attack using a formula that assesses mobility, self-care, everyday activities, depression/anxiety and pain.

"We found that women had a worse quality of life than men up to 12 months following a stroke, even after considering differences in important sociodemographic variables, stroke severity and disability," lead researcher Cheryl Bushnell, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Wake Forest Baptist said in a news release.

"As more people survive strokes, physicians and other healthcare 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 added.

The findings revealed that women were significantly more likely than men to report three months after suffering stroke. The study revealed that women still had lower quality of life scores compared to men one year after their stroke.

"The reason we do these types of studies is to be able to add different variables sequentially to determine what accounts for these gender differences," Bushnell said. "We found that age, race and marital status accounted for the biggest differences between men and women at three months, with marital status being the most important. Even though the women in the study were older than the men, our study showed that age really had very little effect on quality of life."

The findings are published in the journal Neurology.

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