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Fatigue after Stroke: Baseline Predictors and Influence on Survival. Analysis of Data from UK Patients Recruited in the International Stroke Trial

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    Rights statement: Copyright: © 2011 Mead et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16988
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


Background and Purpose

Little is known about the associations of post-stroke fatigue or its influence on survival. The vitality component of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) is a valid and reliable measure of post-stroke fatigue. We sought to identify associates of post-stroke fatigue and determine whether fatigue predicted survival.


We used SF-36 vitality scores obtained by postal questionnaires from 1080 UK patients randomised in the International Stroke Trial, at a mean of 64 weeks after stroke onset. We used logistic regression to explore factors at randomisation which predicted SF-36 vitality at follow-up, and the relationship between SF-36 vitality and both SF-36 mental health and SF-36 emotional role function at follow-up. We used Cox proportional hazards to explore the influence of SF-36 vitality at follow-up on subsequent survival, using four different statistical models for handling missing data.


Female sex, increasing age, lower mental health and lower emotional role function scores were associated with greater degrees of fatigue after stroke (i.e. lower vitality scores) but these factors explained <30% of the variance (R2) in fatigue. In two models, fatigue at follow-up was associated with shorter subsequent survival.


Increasing age, female sex, emotional role function and mental health were associated with increased fatigue at a mean of 64 weeks after stroke onset, but explained less than 30% of the variance. Fatigue was associated with reduced subsequent long-term survival in 2/4 models. Further work is needed to identify the biological substrate of fatigue and to clarify its influence on survival.

    Research areas

  • Fatigue, Female, Great Britain, Humans, Male, Proportional Hazards Models, Quality of Life, Questionnaires, Stroke

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