Stroke case-fatality and marital status

K K Andersen, T S Olsen


OBJECTIVES: Most studies show that marriage conveys a survival advantage. Whether this is valid also for stroke patients is unclear. Results of studies have been inconsistent and conflicting.

MATERIAL & METHODS: We studied 1-week and 1-month stroke case-fatality in relation to marital status (married, unmarried, divorced, and widowed) in all patients admitted to hospital for incident stroke in Denmark during 2003-2012. We used information from Danish registries on stroke merged to information on age, sex, marital status, stroke severity, stroke subtype, socioeconomic status, cardiovascular risk profile, and causes of death. We studied deaths due to the index stroke within the first week and month after stroke. Multivariate Cox regression models were applied to estimate cause-specific hazards and relative risks.

RESULTS: We included 60507 patients with an incident stroke of which 51.19% were married, 9.47% were unmarried, 13.29% were divorced, and 26.05% were widowers. Death within the first week and first month was caused by stroke in 2110 (3.5%) and 3423 (5.7%) patients, respectively. Compared to married stroke patients, 1-week/1-month case-fatality (by stroke) was lower for the unmarried (HR (hazard ratio):0.69/0.74), divorced (HR:0.69/0.72), and widowed (HR:0.80/0.74) men and the unmarried (HR:0.84/0.86), divorced (HR:0.82/0.80), and widowed (HR:0.87/0.88) women with stroke.

CONCLUSIONS: One-week and one-month case-fatality by stroke was lower among the unmarried, divorced, and widowed than among the married stroke patients. Selection by so-called mortality displacement linked to shorter life expectancy among divorced, widowed, and singles may explain our findings.

TidsskriftActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)377-383
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2018


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