Association Between Socioeconomic Status and Functional Impairment 3 Months After Ischemic Stroke
The Berlin Stroke Register
Background and Purpose—We aimed to analyze the association between patient socioeconomic status and functional impairment 3 months after ischemic stroke and to identify factors that influence this association.
Methods—Data were obtained from the Berlin Stroke Register, a network of 14 stroke units in Berlin. Ischemic stroke patients consecutively admitted to 1 of the hospitals in the Berlin Stroke Register between June 2010 and September 2011, were followed-up 3 months after the index event by postal or telephone interview. We used multivariable logistic regression to examine the association between highest education as marker of socioeconomic status and functional impairment after stroke defined by Barthel Index categories. We adjusted for age, sex, prestroke dependency, stroke severity, functional deficit after stroke onset, and comorbidities as possible confounding factors.
Results—A total of 1688 ischemic stroke patients who were alive at 3 months and completed the questionnaire were included in the analysis; 40% of the patients were female and 50% of the patients were 70 years or older. Age, prestroke dependency, stroke severity, and the absence of comorbidities were significantly associated with good functional outcome at 3 months. In multivariable analysis, a higher probability of good outcome was observed in patients with college or university degree (odds ratio, 2.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.39–3.42) compared with patients with no completed education.
Conclusion—Patients with lower education have considerably lower rates of good functional outcome after stroke that cannot be fully explained by variations in the patients’ clinical and demographic characteristics.
- Received June 29, 2012.
- Accepted August 28, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.