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Age Ageing. 2014 Jul;43(4):542-7. doi: 10.1093/ageing/aft208. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

Natural history, predictors and associated outcomes of anxiety up to 10 years after stroke: the South London Stroke Register.

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Blizard Institute, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK, London E12AB, UK Division of Health and Social Care Research, King's College London, London, UK.
Division of Health and Social Care Research, King's College London, London, UK.



evidence on the long-term natural history, predictors and outcomes of anxiety after stroke is insufficient to inform effective interventions. This study estimates within 10 years of stroke: (i) the incidence, cumulative incidence, prevalence, and time of onset of anxiety. (ii) Predictors of anxiety and its association with depression. (iii) The association between anxiety 3 months after stroke and mortality, stroke recurrence, disability, cognitive impairment and quality of life (QoL) at follow-up.


data from the South London Stroke Register (1995-2010). Patients were assessed at the time of the stroke, at 3 months, 1 year and then annually for up to 10 years. Baseline data included socio-demographics and stroke severity. Follow-up data included assessments for anxiety and depression (hospital anxiety and depression scale), disability, cognition and QoL. Multivariate regression was used to investigate predictors and associated outcomes of anxiety.


incidence of anxiety up to 10 years ranged from 17 to 24%. Cumulative incidence: 57%. Prevalence range: 32-38%. Amongst patients with anxiety, 58% were anxious at 3 months. 57-73% of patients with anxiety had co-morbid depression. Predictors of anxiety included age under 65, female gender, inability to work, depression treatment, smoking and stroke severity. Anxiety at 3 months was associated with lower QoL at follow-up.


anxiety is a frequent problem affecting stroke survivors in the long term. Clinicians should pay attention to patients at risk of anxiety since it is associated with lower QoL and depression.


anxiety; cohort studies; incidence; older people; prevalence; stroke

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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