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ICEM: Gender Linked to Functional Status After Stroke

Three-month outcomes are better in women than men despite similar stroke severity at presentation

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients who present at an emergency department with a similarly severe acute ischemic stroke and are discharged with a similar level of functional status, women may have a better short-term functional outcome than men, according to research presented this week at the 12th International Conference on Emergency Medicine in San Francisco.

Lekshmi Vaidyanathan, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues studied 37 patients (21 men, 16 women, average age 68.3) who presented with a stroke between July 2005 and February 2006. The group had median and mean NIH stroke scale scores of 4 and 7, respectively, and no statistically significant gender differences in stroke severity. At dismissal, there was no significant difference in mean modified Rankin score between the male and female patients (3.15 versus 2.95).

At three months, six months and one year, the researchers interviewed each patient by telephone and used the modified Rankin score to calculate functional status.

"After adjusting for age and NIH stroke scale, women had a statistically significant greater improvement in their modified Rankin score compared to men at three months following their initial presentation," the authors write.

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