Introduction: Malnutrition has been associated with a worse outcome in stroke. Its frequency is not well established and sometimes the impact is not considered.
Objective: To explore gender differences on nutritional status (NS) after acute stroke and its impact on stroke outcome at 90 days.
Methods: We evaluated consecutive acute stroke patients admitted to the Stroke Unit. We analyzed baseline demographics, vascular risk factors, analytic and anthropometric parameters, and stroke characteristics. We determined NS at baseline and 90 days by Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA) scale to detect patients at malnutrition risk (MR). We divided groups by gender. Chi square test was applied for qualitative variables and T student for quantitative. A probability value of <0.05 was considered significant for all tests.
Results: We included 95 patients, 45 women (47,4%). Differences were found comparing women vs men and age (77,9 ± 1,02 vs 75,1 ± 0,9), alcohol consumption (6,7% vs 60%), smoking (4,4% vs 26%) and body mass index (30,1 ± 5,1 vs 27,3 ± 4,5); p<0.05. There were no significant differences related to gender and stroke type (ischemic 88,9% vs 84%, p=0.49) nor stroke severity at baseline (NIHSS 5±4 vs 4±4 p=0.18), neither in risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, dislipidemia), comorbidities nor socioeconomic differences. There were no gender differences in the occurrence of in-hospital complications (27,3% vs 16,3%; p=0,2), dysphagia (6,7% vs 6,0%; p=0.89) nor in NIHSS scoring at discharge (3±3 vs 2±3; p=0.08). On admission, MR was present in 28,5% of the patients. There were no differences between gender and DR (31,1% vs 26%; p=0.58).
At 90 days, MR increased to 46,4%. We found significant gender differences (57,8% vs 32%; p=0.024).
In the adjusted analysis, female gender was associated with a worst NS at 90days [OR 3,56 (1,1-11,5)]. Modified Rankin scale (mRs) score at 90 days was <=2 in 77,8% of women and 82% of men, p=0.607. MNA score at 90 days was independently associated with a better outcome (mRs<=2) at 90 days adjusted by gender OR 0,13 (0,14-0,46).
Conclusion: In our series, female gender was independently related to worse nutritional status at 90 days after the stroke.