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Women May Fare Worse Than Men After Stroke

Female patients report more problems with their physical and emotional health, study finds

FRIDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Women have a poorer quality of life after a stroke or a ministroke than men, according to Swedish researchers.

In the study, 379 stroke patients and 117 transient ischemic attack (TIA), or ministroke, patients answered a quality-of-life survey that measured physical, emotional and social aspects of their health. Ministrokes are brief blockages of the blood supply cause temporary stroke symptoms.

Female stroke patients had much lower scores than men in five of six aspects of quality of life: emotion, sleep, energy, pain and mobility, the researchers reported in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

In terms of specific issues, women were more likely than men to report problems with housekeeping (56 percent versus 36 percent) after a stroke. Men were more likely than women to report issues with sex (34 percent versus 19 percent).

Female ministroke patients were much more likely than men to be affected in all aspects of quality of life. Specifically, women were more likely than men to feel the effects from their ministroke in the following areas: housekeeping (48 percent versus 20 percent, respectively); family (13 percent versus 0 percent, respectively); and leisure time activities (42 percent versus 23 percent, respectively).

The researchers also found that male stroke patients were much more affected in certain areas of quality of life than male ministroke patients (emotional, energy, social) but there were no significant differences between female stroke and ministroke patients.

"Our study shows that female stroke patients are more affected than male stroke patients when it comes to quality of life," study co-author Dr. Ann Charlotte Laska, of Danderyd Hospital in Stockholm, said in a journal news release. "It also shows that female [ministroke] patients are as badly affected when it comes to quality of life as female stroke patients and need the same level of support after they are discharged from hospital."

More information

The American Stroke Association has more about life after stroke.


SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Nursing, news release, July 25, 2012

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