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Stroke. 2006 Oct;37(10):2567-72. Epub 2006 Aug 31.

Impact of stroke on health-related quality of life in the noninstitutionalized population in the United States.

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Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop K-47, 4770 Buford Hwy, NE, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717, USA.



Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability in the United States. This study examined the national impact of stroke on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and disparities in HRQoL across different demographic groups.


Combined 2000 and 2002 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data were used, which include quality-of-life measures based on the short-form generic measures (SF-12) and the EuroQol Group measures (EQ-5D index and EQ VAS) for 39,680 adults aged >18 years. Stratified analysis and ordinary least square regressions were used to compare HRQoL scores between stroke and nonstroke populations.


The study included 1040 noninstitutionalized stroke survivors. After adjustment for sociodemographics, risk factors, and comorbidities, stroke survivors had statistically significantly lower mean scores for mental health (-4.1%), physical health (-7.9%), health utility (-6.9%), and self-rated health (-7.2%) (all P<0.01). In general, stroke did not affect differences in HRQoL among age or gender groups. However, racial and ethnic disparities in HRQoL were greater among stroke survivors than nonstroke individuals, particularly in health utility scores for black vs white participants (-0.06 in stroke survivors and -0.02 in the nonstroke population, P<0.01) and Hispanic versus non-Hispanic participants (-0.11 in stroke survivors and -0.01 in the nonstroke population).


Stroke significantly impairs HRQoL in the United States. The findings suggest that racial and ethnic disparities in HRQoL among stroke survivors are more pronounced than in the nonstroke population. The burden of nonfatal stroke, especially among racial and ethnic minorities, should be recognized more widely.

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