Quality of life after stroke : the EROS study in urban Lithuania
Objectives. This studyaimed to assess quality of life in first-onset stroke survivors, and to determine how stroke associates with social and demographic factors, peculiarities of lifestyle, and chronic non-infectious diseases.Material and methods.As part of the European Register of Stroke study, we recruited 508 stroke survivors aged 25–84 years (case group) in Kaunas city Lithuania, and randomly selected 508 age-and sex-matched residents from the city’s stroke-free population (controls). All participants completed the Short Form 12 Health Survey questionnaire. We analyzed participants’ physical and mental quality of life regarding social and demographic factors, lifestyle, chronic non-infectious disease morbidity, and the use of medications.
Results. Quality of life among stroke survivors was poorer compared to controls in both the physical (Me=32.8/47.0, p<0.001) and mental (Me=55.9/60.5, p<0.001) health domains. Stroke survivors and controls with arterial hypertension reported poorer physical health, compared to subjects without hypertension (p<0.05 vs. p<0.001, respectively). Additionally, physical quality of life among survivors with atrial fibrillation was poorer compared to subjects without this disorder (p<0.001). Employed stroke survivors reported better physical health (Me=38.9, p<0.001) compared to unemployed survivors (Me=31.5), and we observed a similar pattern among controls (Me=50.8/38.9, p=0.005). Survivors and controls who used alcohol reported better physicalhealth (p<0.001). Notably,both controls (p<0.05) and stroke survivors (p<0.01) reported better health if they did not live alone. During the period from the 3rd up to the 12th month after stroke, average physical and mental quality of life increased significantly among survivors (5.1±0.4 points, p=0.001 vs. 1.4±0.3 points, p=0.001, respectively).
Conclusions. Previous stroke impaired both physical and mental quality of life in survivors. This study revealed that chronic non-infectious diseases experiencedprior to stroke significantly influence quality of life.Survivors with arterial hypertension, atrial fibrillation, or diabetes mellitus rated their physical quality of life lower than those who did not have these illnesses. Interestingly, only controls with atrial fibrillation reported decreased quality of life. Both physical and mental health improved12 months after stroke compared to quality of life 3 months after stroke
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