The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of gender on the functional outcome after ischemic stroke. In a retrospective chart review we studied 919 survivors of ischemic stroke admitted for rehabilitation at a geriatric rehabilitation ward of a university affiliated hospital. Functional outcome of female and male patients was assessed by Functional Independence Measurement (FIM™) at admission and discharge. Data were analyzed by t test, Chi-square test and Linear Regression. A total number of 919 patients were admitted of whom 56% were males. A higher proportion of male patients reported ischemic heart disease (p< 0.001), hypercholesterolemia (p= 0.035), Parkinson's disease (p= 0.044), and previous stroke (p< 0.001). Males had also higher Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores (p< 0.001). Total FIM at admission (62.54 ± 25.98 and 66.00 ± 25.49; p= 0.043), and total FIM at discharge (80.39 ± 30.35 and 85.59 ± 29.08; p= 0.008), motor FIM at admission (40.04 ± 18.89 and 42.51 ± 18.47; p= 0.047) and motor FIM at discharge (56.41 ± 23.04 and 60.44 ± 21.84; p= 0.007) were higher among male patients. However, a trend for a borderline statistical difference was observed for FIM gains upon discharge between men and women. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that total FIM at discharge was neither associated with male nor female gender (β= -0.009; p= 0.69). The findings suggest that the functional outcome of male survivors presenting for rehabilitation after acute ischemic stroke is slightly better. After adjusting for possible covariates, gender did not emerge as an independent predictor for higher FIM at discharge, suggesting that gender should not be held as adversely affecting rehabilitation of such patients.
- Functional outcome