Sex differences in quality of life after ischemic stroke

Neurology. 2014 Mar 18;82(11):922-31. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000208. Epub 2014 Feb 7.


Objective: We aimed to compare quality of life (QOL) in women and men after ischemic stroke or TIA, and to determine the incremental impact of demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and stroke-specific effects on longitudinal QOL.

Methods: We assessed QOL in patients with ischemic stroke or TIA at 3 and 12 months postdischarge in the Adherence eValuation After Ischemic stroke-Longitudinal Registry using the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) instrument. We generated multivariable linear regression models to evaluate the association between sex and EQ-5D while sequentially adjusting for sociodemographic, clinical, and stroke-related variables. We also used a proportional odds model to assess sex differences in the change in EQ-5D scores from 3 to 12 months.

Results: A total of 1,370 patients were included, 53.7% male, median age 65 years (interquartile range 56-77 years). Women had significantly lower QOL at 3 months (unadjusted EQ-5D 0.81 in women vs 0.84 in men; p < 0.001) and 12 months (0.83 vs men 0.84; p < 0.001) poststroke. After multivariable adjustment for sociodemographic, clinical, and stroke-related factors, women continued to have lower QOL at 3 months (mean difference -0.036; p = 0.003) and at 12 months (mean difference -0.022; p = 0.046). Women fared worse in the dimensions of mobility, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression at 3 and 12 months. There were no sex differences in change in EQ-5D score from 3 to 12 months.

Conclusion: Women have worse QOL than men up to 12 months after stroke, even after adjusting for important sociodemographic variables, stroke severity, and disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / complications
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / psychology
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / psychology*