Factors influencing return-to-work after cerebrovascular disease: the importance of previous cardiovascular risk

Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2015 Sep;22(9):1220-7. doi: 10.1177/2047487314544961. Epub 2014 Jul 24.


Background: The role of prior cardiovascular risk (CVR) in the multifactorial process of returning to work after a cerebrovascular event has not been adequately investigated. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to analyse the association between previous CVR level, cardiovascular risk factors (CVRFs) and return-to-work (RTW) following cerebrovascular disease.

Design: This was a prospective observational study.

Methods: We analysed a cohort of 348 patients who had experienced an episode of cerebrovascular disease-related work absence. These individuals were selected from the ICARIA study (Ibermutuamur CArdiovascular RIsk Assessment). Global CVR was assessed using the SCORE system. We investigated the association between demographics, work-related variables, CVRFs and RTW following a cerebrovascular event.

Results: We found that a total of 254 individuals (73.0%; 95% CI: 68.3-77.7) returned to work after cerebrovascular disease. Also, we observed a median loss of 12 working years due to disability. Moreover, adjusting for potential confounders revealed that low CVR level and the absence of the following CVRFs was associated with a higher likelihood of RTW: low vs moderate-to-high CVR level (OR: 2.55; 95% CI: 1.42-4.57), no hypertension before stroke (OR: 1.95; 95% CI: 1.11-3.41), non-smoker status (OR: 2.26; 95% CI: 1.30-3.93) and no previous diabetes (OR: 2.46; 95% CI: 1.26-4.79).

Conclusions: Low CVR, along with the absence of several CVRFs, can be used to predict RTW rates following cerebrovascular events. Therefore, controlling hypertension, tobacco consumption and diabetes might contribute to the effectiveness of multidisciplinary rehabilitation and/or secondary/tertiary prevention programs for cerebrovascular disease.

Keywords: Cardiovascular diseases; cerebrovascular disorders; return to work; risk factors; stroke.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Return to Work*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Time Factors
  • Work Capacity Evaluation