Prevalence and Predictors of 6-Month Fatigue in Patients With Ischemic Stroke
A Population-Based Stroke Incidence Study in Auckland, New Zealand, 2002–2003
Background and Purpose—Although persistent and significant fatigue affects the daily life of stroke survivors, there are no population-based studies examining the prevalence of fatigue in 6-month survivors of ischemic stroke and few studies of predictors of poststroke fatigue.
Methods—This article examined data from the Auckland Regional Community Stroke study conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2002 to 2003. Presence of fatigue was evaluated at 6 months in 613 patients with ischemic stroke using a Short Form 36 Vitality Score (energy and fatigue) of ≤47. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine predictors of fatigue development 6 months poststroke.
Results—The prevalence of fatigue was 30% (28% in men and 33% in women). There was a clear association between increased prevalence of fatigue and advancing age. The only baseline variables independently associated with an increased risk of developing fatigue at 6 months poststroke were prestroke incontinence and being of New Zealand European ethnicity. Being independent and living alone at baseline were associated with significant reduction in the risk of being fatigued at 6 months poststroke. Severe depression at 6 months was significantly and independently associated with being fatigued.
Conclusions—The prevalence of fatigue found in our study is at the lower level of range reported in other studies. The prevalence of fatigue increased with advancing age, as found in most previous studies. Because fatigue can have a negative impact on stroke recovery, particular attention needs to be paid to those who are older, incontinent before stroke, and those who report severe symptoms of depression at 6 months after stroke.
- Received April 12, 2012.
- Revision received May 23, 2012.
- Accepted June 1, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.