Sex Differences in Patient-Reported Poststroke Disability

Brandi M. White, Gayenell S. Magwood, Suzanne Perea Burns, Charles Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies have shown that stroke has a differential impact in women compared to men. Women are more likely to survive strokes than men, yet they experience more severe strokes resulting in greater poststroke disability. However, few studies have characterized sex differences in functional ability after stroke. This study examined sex differences in long-term disability among stroke survivors. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of the 2015 National Health Interview Survey. Respondents were asked to rate their ability to perform 11 functional tasks. Univariate comparisons were completed to evaluate sex differences in performance, and multinomial logistic regression was used to determine the odds of reporting functional limitations. Results: Five hundred fourteen men and 641 women stroke survivors completed the survey (mean age: 66.9 years). Approximately 75% of the sample reported having hypertension, 61% high cholesterol, 33% diabetes, 24% heart disease, 21% heart attack, and 16% chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In the predictive models, men were less likely to report "very difficult/can't do at all" in walking mile (odds ratios [OR] = 0.68, 95% CI 0.51-0.90), climbing 10 steps (OR = 0.65, 95% CI 0.49-0.85), standing 2 hours (OR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.50-0.87), stooping (OR = 0.51, 95% CI 0.39-0.68), reaching overhead (OR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.49-0.97), carrying 10 pounds (OR = 0.45, 95% CI 0.34-0.59), and pushing large objects (OR = 0.37, 95% CI 0.28-0.5) compared to women. Conclusions: The functional outcomes of men stroke survivors were significantly greater than women. The specific factors that contribute to sex differences in stroke-related outcomes are not entirely clear. Future research is needed to better understand these differences to ensure that equity of care is received.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-524
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2018.


  • disparities
  • outcomes
  • sex
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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