Sex Disparities in Re-Employment in Stroke Patients With Large Vessel Occlusion Undergoing Mechanical Thrombectomy

Stroke. 2022 Aug;53(8):2528-2537. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.037386. Epub 2022 Apr 21.


Background: Strokes in the working-age population represent a relevant share of ischemic strokes and re-employment is a major factor for well-being in these patients. Income differences by sex have been suspected a barrier for women in returning to paid work following ischemic stroke. We aim to identify predictors of (not) returning to paid work in patients with large vessel occlusion treated with mechanical thrombectomy (MT) to identify potential areas of targeted vocational rehabilitation.

Methods: From 6635 patients enrolled in the German Stroke Registry Endovascular Treatment between 2015 and 2019, data of 606 patients of the working population who survived large vessel occlusion at least 90 days past MT were compared based on employment status at day 90 follow-up. Univariate analysis, multiple logistic regression and analyses of area under the curve were performed to identify predictors of re-employment.

Results: We report 35.6% of patients being re-employed 3 months following MT (median age 54.0 years; 36.1% of men, 34.5% of women [P=0.722]). We identified independent negative predictors against re-employment being female sex (odds ratio [OR], 0.427 [95% CI, 0.229-0.794]; P=0.007), higher National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score 24 hours after MT (OR, 0.775 [95% CI, 0.705-0.852]; P<0.001), large vessel occlusion due to large-artery atherosclerosis (OR, 0.558 [95% CI, 0.312-0.997]; P=0.049) and longer hospital stay (OR, 0.930 [95% CI, 0.868-0.998]; P=0.043). Positive predictors favoring re-employment were excellent functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale score of 0-1) at 90 day follow-up (OR, 11.335 [95% CI, 4.864-26.415]; P<0.001) and combined treatment with intravenous thrombolysis (OR, 1.904 [95% CI, 1.046-3.466]; P=0.035). Multiple regression modeling increased predictive power of re-employment status significantly over prediction by best single functional outcome parameter (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale 24 hours after MT ≤5; R2: 0.582 versus 0.432; area under the receiver operating characteristic curve: 0.887 versus 0.835, P<0.001).

Conclusions: There is more to re-employment after MT than functional outcome alone. In particular, attention should be paid to possible systemic barriers deterring women from resuming paid work.

Registration: URL: https://www.

Clinicaltrials: gov; Unique identifier: NCT03356392.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia*
  • Employment
  • Endovascular Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke* / epidemiology
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data