Stroke survivors who participate in a comprehensive stroke recovery program that incorporates modified cardiac rehabilitation have decreased all-cause mortality at one year, improved overall function, and better cardiovascular performance, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases.
Sara J. Cuccurullo, M.D., from the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute at Hackensack Meridian Health in Edison, New Jersey, and colleagues investigated the associations of a stroke recovery program (SRP) that integrates modified cardiac rehabilitation with mortality and functional outcomes for stroke survivors. The analysis included 246 SRP participants and 203 nonparticipants (2015 to 2020).
The researchers found that SRP participants had a significantly reduced one-year poststroke mortality rate from hospital admission corresponding to a fourfold reduction in mortality. Additionally, SRP participants had statistically and clinically significant improvement of function in all Activity Measure of Post-Acute Care domains, including Basic Mobility, Daily Activity, and Applied Cognitive. Lastly, SRP participants had improvement in cardiovascular performance over 36 sessions with an increase of 78 percent metabolic equivalent of tasks multiplied by minutes versus baseline.
"Stroke survivors deserve the same benefits that patients with cardiac disease receive," a coauthor said in a statement. "As a nation, we need to do more to help patients with stroke improve their lives -- to improve both their longevity and quality of life."
The study was funded in part by an unrestricted grant from NuStep.