Background: Although many studies about survival rates and functional outcomes after stroke have been published, studies on gender differences have reported conflicting results. Aims: To determine whether there are differences in mortality and functional outcomes during the first 5 years after a first-ever ischemic stroke in Korean males and females. Method: This is an interim analysis of the Korean Stroke Cohort for Functioning and Rehabilitation, a prospective multicenter cohort study. Multifaceted functional assessments were performed repeatedly from 7 days to 60 months after stroke onset to test motor, ambulatory, cognitive, language, and swallowing functions as well as activities of daily living (ADLs) in patients with first-ever stroke. Of 10,636 first-ever-stroke patients admitted to nine representative hospitals in Korea, 8210 were ischemic stroke patients included in the mortality analysis. Among them, 6258 patients provided informed consent and 3508 completed functional assessments for 60 months. Gender-related differences in 5-year mortality and functional recovery were analyzed. Result: Women showed a significantly higher 5-year mortality rate than men after correction for possible covariates (p < 0.05). In terms of functional outcomes, women showed worse ambulatory, cognitive, language, and ADL outcomes than men after adjusting for covariates (all p < 0.05). The 5-year recovery pattern differed significantly between genders only for ADL function (β-coefficient estimate = 0.34; p = 0.03). Conclusion: Five-year mortality rate, functional outcomes, and recovery patterns after first-ever ischemic stroke differed significantly by gender. These results suggest the need for gender-specific stroke care and long-term management strategies.
- functional outcome
- recovery pattern