Survival and Functional Status 20 or More Years After First Stroke: The Framingham Study

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Abstract

Background and Purpose

We examined the 20-or-more-year survival and functional levels of 148 stroke survivors and 148 age- and sex-matched control subjects from the Framingham Study Cohort, whom we originally studied in 1972[horizontal bar]1974 to ascertain the survival and disability status of stroke survivors compared with that of controls.

Methods

This long-term evaluation was done with use of data from the 1993-1995 Framingham Study Cohort Examination 23 on the 10 stroke survivors and 20 control subjects still living to identify and compare the host characteristics and functional status of each group. The survival curves for both stroke survivors and controls were derived from the ongoing Framingham Study database.

Results

Twenty-plus-year stroke survivors experienced a greater mortality than age- and sex-matched controls (92.5% and 81%, respectively). The slopes of the two survival curves were essentially the same. Functional status (eg, walking and independence in activities of daily living) of stroke survivors, however, compared very favorably with that of the control subjects. Stroke survivors were more likely to be female and to have a number of comorbidities, including elevated blood pressures, greater use of medications, less use of alcohol, and less depressive symptomology.

Conclusions

In the Framingham cohort, 20-plus-year stroke survivors showed greater mortality than age- and sex-matched control subjects; functionally, however, the groups were very similar and in general quite independent. (Stroke. 1998;29:793-797.)

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