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Thrombolysis Key to Women's Post-Stroke Functional Status

Canadian study finds women derive a greater absolute benefit from thrombolysis in stroke

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Men and women who suffer stroke and receive a thrombolytic agent have similar outcomes in terms of functional status and mortality, but women who do not undergo thrombolysis fare worse than men in functional status after six months, according to a study in the March 2 issue of Neurology.

Nandavar Shobha, of the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues analyzed data on stroke patients from the 2001 to 2002 Registry of Canadian Stroke Network comprising 1,194 men and 919 women. The researchers compared patient status on the Stroke Impact Scale-16 score (SIS-16) and mortality at six months post stoke for men and women who received or did not receive thrombolytic therapy (tissue plasminogen activator).

For thrombolyzed and non-thrombolyzed patients together, and for thrombolyzed patients considered separately, the researchers found that mortality and functional status at six months after stroke were similar in men and women. However, in the non-thrombolyzed group, though there was no difference in mortality, a smaller proportion of women achieved an excellent outcome (SIS-16 greater than 75) than men (58 versus 70 percent; absolute risk difference, 11.8 percent).

"The direction of effect seen in this cohort study is identical to what has been previously reported: women fare poorly compared to men when not treated with thrombolysis, achieve outcomes similar to those seen in men when treated with thrombolysis, and thus have a larger absolute benefit from thrombolytic therapy," the authors write.

One author reported receiving honoraria or research support from various pharmaceutical companies.

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