Stroke shaves years off patients’ lives, study finds

Published October 10, 2013

| FoxNews.com

Having a stroke may shave years off a person’s life, Medical News Today reported.

In a new study published in the journal Neurology, researchers followed 748 stroke patients and 440 patients who had suffered a transient ischemic attack over the course of five years.

For their research, the study’s authors utilized a measure called utility, which assigns a numerical value to a person’s quality of life depending on their various health outcomes.  Utility is represented by a single number along a sliding scale – anywhere from 0.0 (death) to 1.0 (perfect health).

During the five-year study period, the patients who had suffered a stroke lost 1.71 years due to earlier death and an additional 1.08 years due to lower quality of life.  This meant that stroke patients lost nearly three good “quality of life” years out of the five years studied.

The study authors argue that these findings highlight the need for more funding for stroke research.

"Our study should serve as a wake-up call that we need more funding and research for stroke treatments and secondary stroke prevention measures to improve quality of life in stroke survivors,” said study author Peter Rothwell, a professor with the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

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