Women less likely to go back to work after severe stroke

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In a study from Johannes Gutenberg University, scientists found more than one-third of people who have a clot removed from a major blood vessel in the brain after a stroke return to work within three months.

But women were half as likely to do so as men.

The team found women and men were more likely to return to work if they were treated with a combination of mechanical blood clot removal and clot-busting medication to clear their clogged blood vessels than if they just had their clots removed.

When blood clots in the brain block a major artery, they can cause a severe stroke with the potential for serious disability, making it less likely people will return to work.

Clot-caused ischemic strokes account for 87% of all strokes in the U.S. Blockages in large vessels account for 24%-46% of ischemic strokes. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability.

Endovascular mechanical thrombectomy is a procedure that uses a slim catheter to remove a clot blocking a large blood vessel in the brain.

This procedure, along with clot-busting medications, is considered standard practice for the treatment of some severe strokes.

In the study, researchers analyzed data for 606 men and women, ages 18 to 64, in Germany who survived large vessel occlusion ischemic strokes between 2015 and 2019.

Participants, all of whom worked prior to their strokes, were treated with a mechanical thrombectomy. A subset of 370 patients also received clot-busting medications.

They compared those who went back to work 90 days after having a thrombectomy to those who did not return to work.

That means there is something else behind the reasons for not returning to work.

The team says what could help are targeted vocational and workplace rehabilitation interventions that have been shown to improve rates of return to work.

And previous studies have also found that returning to work is associated with increased well-being, self-esteem and life satisfaction.

Women and men treated with both thrombectomy and clot-busting medications were nearly twice as likely to return to work as those who just had a thrombectomy.

If you care about stroke, please read studies that diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk, and MIND diet could slow down cognitive decline after stroke.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about how Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and coffee could help lower your risk of stroke and dementia.

The study was conducted by Dr. Marianne Hahn et al and published in Stroke.

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