Cognitive deficits are frequent stroke sequelae. Data from population-based stroke cohorts on the impact of cognitive deficits on long-term outcome are scarce. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of low mini-mental status on health outcome up to 5 years after first-ever stroke. Data were collected from the Erlangen Stroke Project, a population-based stroke registry covering a source population of 103,000 inhabitants. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used to assess global cognitive function. Health outcome included limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL, Frenchay Activities Index), low independence in activities of daily living (ADL, Barthel Index), depressive symptoms (Zung Self Rating Depression Scale), and institutionalization. Using multivariate logistic regression analysis, association of an education-adjusted MMSE score ≤ 24 with these health outcomes was investigated within distinct models at 12, 36, and 60 months after stroke as well as predictors at 3 months for low IADL. A total of 705 patients with first-ever stroke were included. Institutionalization, low levels of ADL and IADL (p < 0.001) are associated with a MMSE score ≤ 24 over 5 years after stroke. Predictors at 3 months for low IADL are low mini-mental status up to 3 years after stroke (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.2-5.8) as well as older age (p < 0.001), and stroke severity (p < 0.001) up to 5 years. A low mini-mental status has an independent impact on long-term health outcome after stroke. Our results emphasize the importance of cognitive status screening to identify stroke survivors at risk and manage and treat these patients more efficiently.