Sex disparity in long-term stroke recurrence and mortality in a rural population in the United States

Clare Lambert, Durgesh Chaudhary, Oluwaseyi Olulana, Shima Shahjouei, Venkatesh Avula, Jiang Li, Vida Abedi, Ramin Zand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Several studies suggest women may be disproportionately affected by poorer stroke outcomes than men. This study aims to investigate whether women have a higher risk of all-cause mortality and recurrence after an ischemic stroke than men in a rural population in central Pennsylvania, United States. Methods: We analyzed consecutive ischemic stroke patients captured in the Geisinger NeuroScience Ischemic Stroke research database from 2004 to 2019. Kaplan–Meier (KM) estimator curves stratified by gender and age were used to plot survival probabilities and Cox Proportional Hazards Ratios were used to analyze outcomes of all-cause mortality and the composite outcome of ischemic stroke recurrence or death. Fine–Gray Competing Risk models were used for the outcome of recurrent ischemic stroke, with death as the competing risk. Two models were generated; Model 1 was adjusted by data-driven associated health factors, and Model 2 was adjusted by traditional vascular risk factors. Results: Among 8900 adult ischemic stroke patients [median age of 71.6 (interquartile range: 61.1–81.2) years and 48% women], women had a higher crude all-cause mortality. The KM curves demonstrated a 63.3% survival in women compared with a 65.7% survival in men (p = 0.003) at 5 years; however, the survival difference was not present after controlling for covariates, including age, atrial fibrillation or flutter, myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, heart failure, chronic lung diseases, rheumatic disease, chronic kidney disease, neoplasm, peripheral vascular disease, past ischemic stroke, past hemorrhagic stroke, and depression. There was no adjusted or unadjusted sex difference in terms of recurrent ischemic stroke or composite outcome. Conclusion: Sex was not an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality and ischemic stroke recurrence in the rural population in central Pennsylvania.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders
StatePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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