Stroke hits women harder than men, says study

July 26th, 2012 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Stockholm, July 25 (IANS) A stroke in any form hits women harder than men, robbing them of the very meaning of life, says a study from Sweden.

Researchers at Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm, asked all patients attending an out-patient clinic over a 16-month period to complete the Nottingham health profile, a generic quality of life survey used to measure subjective physical, emotional and social aspects of health.

A total of 496 patients agreed to take part - 379 were stroke patients and 117 had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), often known as a mini stroke, the Journal of Clinical Nursing reports.

Stroke is caused by the blockage of vital supply of blood and oxygen to part of the brain, which may damage functions such as vision, speech and walking.

“Stroke is a disease that can affect many aspects of a patient’s life,” explains study co-author Asa Franzen-Dahlin, nurse researcher from the hospital’s department of internal medicine, according to a Danderyd statement.

“Physical problems are easy to identify, but personality changes and cognitive decline, a reduction in the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remember - are often only noticeable to those closest to the patient,” adds Dahlin.

“Our study shows that female stroke patients are more affected than male stroke patients when it comes to quality of life,” concludes co-author Ann Charlotte Laska from the division of internal medicine.

“It also shows that female TIA patients are as badly affected when it comes to quality of life as female stroke patients and need the same level of support after they are discharged from hospital,” concludes Laska.

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