Gray, Laura J. and Sprigg, Nikola and Bath, Philip M.W. and Boysen, Gudrun and De Deyn, Peter Paul and Leys, Didier and O'Neill, Desmond and Ringelstein, Bernd
Sex differences in quality of life in stroke survivors. Data from the Tinzaparin in Acute Ischaemic Stroke Trial (TAIST).
Introduction: Female sex is predictive of poor functional outcome in stroke, even after correction for prognostic factors. Poor quality of life (QoL) is observed in stroke survivors, with lower scores seen in the most disabled patients. We used data from the TAIST trial to assess the relationship between sex and QoL after ischaemic stroke.
Methods: TAIST was a randomised controlled trial assessing the safety and efficacy of tinzaparin versus aspirin in 1,484 patients with acute ischaemic stroke. QoL was measured at 180 days post randomisation using the short-form 36 health survey which assesses QoL across eight domains. The relationship between sex and each domain was assessed using ordinal regression, both unadjusted and adjusted for key prognostics factors.
Results: Of the 1,484 patients randomised into TAIST, 216 had died at 180 days post randomisation. 1,268 survivors were included in this analysis, 694 males (55%), 574 females (45%). Females tended to score lower than males across all QoL domains (apart from general health); statistically significant lower scores were seen for physical functioning (odds ratio (OR) 0.58, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.47-0.72), vitality (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.64-0.98) and mental health (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.61-0.93). The results for physical functioning and mental health remained significant after adjustment for prognostic variables (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.58-0.92; OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.60-0.95 respectively).
Conclusions: QoL, in particular physical function and mental health domains, is lower in female patients after stroke. This difference persists even after correction for known prognostic factors such as age and stroke severity.
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