Sex differences in treatment and outcome after stroke: Pooled analysis including 19,000 participants

Carcel, Cheryl, Wang, Xia, Sandset, Else Charlotte, Delcourt, Candice, Arima, Hisatomi, Lindley, Richard, Hackett, Maree orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1211-9087, Lavados, Pablo, Robinson, Thompson G et al (2019) Sex differences in treatment and outcome after stroke: Pooled analysis including 19,000 participants. Neurology, 93 (24). E2170-E2180. ISSN 0028-3878

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To explore the sex differences in outcomes and management after stroke using a large sample with high-quality international trial data. Individual participant data were obtained from 5 acute stroke randomized controlled trials. Data were obtained on demographics, medication use, in-hospital treatment, and functional outcome. Study-specific crude and adjusted models were used to estimate sex differences in outcomes and management, and then pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. There were 19,652 participants, of whom 7,721 (40%) were women. After multivariable adjustments, women with ischemic stroke had higher survival at 3-6 months (odds ratio [OR] 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.70-0.97), higher likelihood of disability (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.06-1.36), and worse quality of life (weighted mean difference -0.07, 95% CI -0.09 to 0.04). For management, women were more likely to be admitted to an acute stroke unit (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.01-1.34), but less likely to be intubated (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.36-0.93), treated for fever (OR 0.82, 95% CI 0.70-0.95), or admitted to an intensive care unit (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.74-0.93). For preadmission medications, women had higher odds of being prescribed antihypertensive agents (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.13-1.31) and lower odds of being prescribed antiplatelets (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.79-0.93), glucose-lowering agents (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.78-0.94), or lipid-lowering agents (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.77-0.94). This analysis suggests that women who had ischemic stroke had better survival but were also more disabled and had poorer quality of life. Variations in hospital and out-of-hospital management may partly explain the disparities. [Abstract copyright: © 2019 American Academy of Neurology.]

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