Sex Differences in Long-Term Outcomes After Stroke

Functional Outcomes, Handicap, and Quality of Life May 8, 2012.

There has been recent interest in sex differences in stroke with a focus on the first 3 months after stroke.1 We recently reported that females had more severe strokes, higher short-term mortality, and different management in comparison to males. This was explained by females’ greater age and prevalence of comorbidities at stroke onset,2 findings supported by a recent review.3 Others have suggested that being female is a risk factor for poorer outcomes in the acute period independent of age and other covariates,1 raising the possibility of a sex bias in the diagnosis or treatment of stroke in females. Alternatively, biological differences between the sexes could influence outcome. For example, differences in muscle strength could explain worse functional outcomes in females.4

Despite this recent interest, there has been little discussion of sex differences with regard to outcome in the longer term after stroke.  Read More