Race and Gender Differences in 1-Year Outcomes for Community-Dwelling Stroke Survivors With Family Caregivers
Background and Purpose—Previous research has reported worse outcomes after stroke for women and for African Americans, but few prospective population-based studies have systematically examined demographic differences on long-term stroke outcomes. Race and gender differences in 1-year stroke outcomes were examined using an epidemiologically derived sample of first-time stroke survivors from the national REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study.
Methods—Participants of REGARDS who reported a first-time stroke event during regular surveillance calls were interviewed by telephone and then completed an in-home evaluation approximately 1 year after the verified first-time stroke event (N=112). A primary family caregiver was also enrolled and interviewed for each stroke survivor. Measures from the in-home evaluation included previously validated stroke outcomes assessments of neurological deficits, functional impairments, and patient-reported effects of stroke in multiple domains.
Results—African American stroke survivors were less likely to be living with their primary family caregivers than white participants. Analyses that controlled for age, education, and whether the stroke survivors lived with their primary family caregivers indicated that African Americans and women showed significantly greater deficits on multiple 1-year outcome measures compared to whites and men, respectively.
Conclusions—Among community-dwelling stroke survivors with family caregivers, women and African Americans are at heightened risk for poor long-term outcomes 1 year after first-time stroke events. Rehabilitation services and public health policies aimed at enhancing stroke recovery rates should address these disparities in poststroke outcomes.
- Received July 1, 2010.
- Accepted October 5, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.