BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Previous reports concerning sex-related differences in stroke management and outcome are inconsistent and are sometimes difficult to interpret. We used data from a national stroke register to further explore possible differences between men and women in baseline characteristics, stroke treatment, and outcome. METHODS: This study included 24 633 stroke events registered in Riks-Stroke, the Swedish national quality register for stroke care, during 2006. Information on background variables and treatment was collected during the hospital stay. After 3 months, the patients' living situation and outcome were assessed. RESULTS: Women were older than men when they had their stroke (mean age, 78.4 versus 73.6 years; P<0.001). On admission to the hospital, women were more often unconscious. Among conscious patients, there was no sex-related difference in the use of stroke unit care. Men and women had equal probability to receive thrombolysis and oral anticoagulants. Women were more likely to develop deep venous thromboses and fractures, whereas men were more likely to develop pneumonia during their hospital stay. Women had a lower 3-month survival, a difference that was associated with higher age and impaired level of consciousness on admission. Women were less often living at home at the 3-month follow-up. However, the difference in residency was not present in patients <85 years who were living at home without community support before the stroke. CONCLUSIONS: Reported sex differences in stroke care and outcome were mainly explained by the women's higher age and lower level of consciousness on admission.
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