Long-term disability after lacunar stroke: secondary prevention of small subcortical strokes

Neurology. 2015 Mar 10;84(10):1002-8. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001331. Epub 2015 Feb 6.


Objectives: To determine whether vascular and demographic factors predict worsening disability up to 8 years after lacunar stroke.

Methods: SPS3 (Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes) was a clinical trial in lacunar stroke patients with annual assessment of disability using the Older Americans Resources and Survey instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) scale (range 0-14). Generalized estimating equations modeled the likelihood of disability (IADL <14) over time, adjusting for demographics, medical risk factors, cognition, mood, stroke location, and geographic region in univariate and multivariable models. IADL assessments after recurrent stroke were censored. We stratified by study region and age quartile.

Results: Among 2,820 participants, mean age was 63.4 years (SD 10.8), 63% were male, 36% had diabetes, 90% hypertension, and 10% prior stroke. Mean follow-up was 3.7 years. In multivariable models, female sex, education, diabetes, nonregular alcohol use, prior stroke, Cognitive Abilities Screening Instrument score, depression, mild cognitive impairment, and stroke location were associated with disability. The youngest age quartile had decreased odds of disability over time (odds ratio 0.90 per year, 95% confidence interval 0.85-0.95), whereas the oldest age quartile had increased odds (2.20, 95% confidence interval 1.75-2.75). Americans and Latin Americans had >2-fold greater odds of disability per year compared with Spaniards (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: In lacunar stroke patients, older age was associated with worsening long-term disability, even without recurrence. Worse long-term function was associated with diabetes, cognitive status, and prior stroke, and regional differences may be attributable to variations in health care delivery or scale interpretation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Stroke, Lacunar / complications*
  • Stroke, Lacunar / prevention & control
  • Time Factors