Long-term outcomes: survivors’ experiences up to 15 years after stroke

*new* Dr. Siobhan Crichton and Dr. Benjamin Bray  talk about this study on a Soundcloud podcast by BMJ Talk Medicine.

Researchers at King’s College London use South London Stroke Register data to understand the long term consequences of stroke. Recently they did an analysis of outcomes for Register participants who lived up to 15 years after their stroke. The outcomes they looked at were survival, disability, activity, cognitive impairment, quality of life, depression and anxiety.

The researchers found that one in five people live at least 15 years after their stroke, and that many of these people live with disability and psychological problems. For example, one in 10 of the people who lived for 15 years after their stroke had lived with moderate to severe disability since their stroke.

The study emphasises that, as more people survive stroke, “research and health services will need to increasingly focus on preventing and managing the long-term consequences of stroke”.

The study was designed and carried  out by researchers and clinicians at King’s College London and the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. The article described is published as: Crichton, S. L., B. D. Bray, C. McKevitt, A. G. Rudd and C. D. A. Wolfe (2016). “Patient outcomes up to 15 years after stroke: survival, disability, quality of life, cognition and mental health.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry (may require subscription to access).

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New study on patterns of depression over time in stroke survivors

Approximately one-third of stroke survivors experience depression at any one time point up to 15 years after their stroke. A recently published study used data from the South London Stroke Register to explore the patterns of development in depression symptoms and to estimate how many people have different severities of depression over time. The study also looked at how patterns of depression symptoms varied with stroke severity, disability, and antidepressant use.

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Depression and survival after stroke

Around 30% of stroke survivors experience depression in the long term, and many patients report the first symptoms of depression in the first few weeks and months after their stroke. The study referenced below used data from the South London Stroke Register to investigate whether there was any association between depression after stroke and mortality.
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Trends and survival between ethnic groups after stroke

The SLSR now includes data on more than 5000 patients from a multi-ethnic population, with a long follow-up period of up to 16 years. Prior to the paper referenced in this post, ethnic differences in stroke incidence, mortality, and survival had been reported.
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