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Journal of Neurology

, Volume 250, Issue 6, pp 676–681 | Cite as

Does age influence early recovery from ischemic stroke?

A study from the Hessian Stroke Data Bank
  • Christof Kugler
  • Thomas Altenhöner
  • Piergiorgio Lochner
  • Andreas Ferbert
  • for the Hessian Stroke Data Bank Study Group ASH
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATION

Abstract.

Age is the most important risk factor for developing a stroke. In addition, age may also influence stroke recovery. To allow structured discharge planning, it may be important to consider the influence of age on stroke recovery during the early phase. We studied the effect of patient age on early stroke recovery in a cohort of 2219 unselected stroke patients. Data on functional status (Barthel Index Score) were collected prospectively within 24h after admission, after one week and at discharge for 2219 acute stroke patients treated in 1999 and 2000 at 7 neurological departments in the county of Hesse, Germany. Multiple regression analyses were used to test for an association between age, relative recovery and speed of recovery of ADL after stroke. More than half of the patients (58 %) improved in functional status during hospitalization. 37 % had no change in Barthel Index score and only a small number of patients (5 %) deteriorated during this period. Relative improvement decreased with increasing age: patients younger than 55 years showed an improvement of 67 % of the maximum possible improvement compared whith only 50 % for patients above 55 years (adjusted R2 = 0.120, βage = −0.130, p < 0.001). Age only had a small effect on the speed of recovery. For younger patients functional recovery was slightly faster (adjusted R2 = 0.256, βage = −0.080, p < 0.001). Despite its strong influence on case fatality, age is a poor predictor of functional recovery during the very early phase after stroke. Resulting functional recovery depends much more on the extent of the initial disability. Advanced age should not be regarded as a limiting factor in the early rehabilitation of stroke patients.

Key words cerebrovascular accident recovery of function ageing activities of daily living rehabilitation 

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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christof Kugler
    • 1
  • Thomas Altenhöner
    • 2
  • Piergiorgio Lochner
    • 3
  • Andreas Ferbert
    • 3
  • for the Hessian Stroke Data Bank Study Group ASH
  1. 1.Institute for Integrative Care Management IVM, University Clinic Giessen, Giessen, GermanyDE
  2. 2.School of Public Health, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Klinikum Kassel, Mönchebergstrasse 41–43, 34125 Kassel, Germany. ferbert@klinikum-kassel.deDE

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