Functional outcome of elderly survivors of ischemic stroke: A retrospective study comparing non- hypercholesterolemic and hypercholesterolemic patients

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Abstract

Background: Total cholesterol is significantly associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke. Patients with ischemic stroke and high cholesterol levels may show better functional outcome after rehabilitation. Objectives: To study the possible interrelations between hypercholesterolemia and functional outcome in elderly survivors of ischemic stroke. Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review study of consecutive patients (age ≥ 60 years) with acute stroke admitted to a geriatric rehabilitation ward in a university-affiliated hospital. The presence or absence of hypercholesterolemia was based on registry data positive for hypercholesterolemia, defined as total cholesterol ≥ 200 mg/dl (5.17 mmol/L). Functional outcome of patients with hypercholesterolemia (Hchol) and without (NHchol) was assessed by the Functional Independence Measurement scale (FIMTM) at admission and discharge. Data were analyzed by t-test and chi-square test, as well as linear regression analysis. Results: The complete data for 551 patients (age range 60-96 years) were available for final analysis; 26.7% were diagnosed as having hypercholesterolemia. Admission total FIM scores were significantly higher in patients with Hchol (72.1 ± 24.8) compared with NHchol patients (62.2 ± 24.7) (P < 0.001). A similar difference was found at discharge (Hchol 90.8 ± 27.9 vs. NHchol 79.7 ± 29.2, P < 0.001). However, total FIM change upon discharge was similar in both groups (18.7 ± 13.7 vs. 17.6 ± 13.7, P = 0.4). Regression analyses showed that high Mini Mental State Examination scores (β = 0.13, P = 0.01) and younger age (β = -0.12, P = 0.02) were associated with higher total FIM change scores upon discharge. Total cholesterol was not associated with better total FIM change on discharge (β = -0.012, P = 0.82). Conclusions: Elderly survivors of stroke with Hchol who were admitted for rehabilitation showed higher admission and discharge FIM scores but similar functional FIM gains as compared to NHchol patients. High cholesterol levels may be useful in identifying older individuals with a better rehabilitation potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-299
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume13
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • Elderly
  • Functional outcome
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Rehabilitation

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