Having a stroke or mini stroke has a much more profound effect on a woman’s quality of life, according to a new study of gender differences among stroke survivors.
The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, indicated women stroke patients are significantly more affected in five of the six quality of life issues – emotion, sleep, energy, pain and mobility - than men.
"Stroke is a disease that can affect many aspects of a patient's life," said researcher Dr. Asa Franzen-Dahlin, a nurse researcher from the Department of Internal Medicine at the Danderyd Hospital, Stockholm. SPECIAL: 4 Bodily Signs a Heart Attack is Near. See Them Now!
"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."
For the study, Swedish researchers asked patients in an out-patient clinic over a 16-month period to complete a standardized quality-of life survey used to measure physical, emotional and social aspects of health. Nearly 500 patients agreed to take part – 379 were stroke patients and 117 had experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA), often known as a mini stroke.
Among the findings:
• Women stroke patients reported more problems with most quality-of-life measures than men. But men reported more issues with sex than women (34 percent vs. 19 percent).
• Women stroke patients reported more problems with housekeeping (56 percent vs. 36 percent) and social areas (33 percent v 22 percent) than men.
• Female TIA patients reported more problems with quality-of-life issues than male TIA patients – including social measures (33 percent vs. 8 percent), family (13 percent vs. 0 percent) and leisure time areas (42 percent vs. 23 percent).SPECIAL: 4 Bodily Signs a Heart Attack is Near. See Them Now!