Factors influencing employment after minor stroke and NSTEMI
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases. 2020, 29 (9), 105036. 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2020.105036
Aim: To study the effect of cognitive function, fatigue and emotional symptoms on employment after a minor ischemic stroke compared to non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). Material and methods: We included 217 patients with minor ischemic stroke and 133 NSTEMI patients employed at baseline aged 18–70 years. Minor stroke was defined as modified Rankin scale (mRS) 0–2 at day seven or at discharge if before. Included NSTEMI patients had the same functional mRS. We applied a selection of cognitive tests and the patients completed questionnaires measuring symptoms of anxiety, depression and fatigue at follow up. Stroke patients were tested at three and 12 months and NSTEMI at 12 months. Results: The patients still employed at 12 monthswere significantly younger than the unemployed patients and the NSTEMI patients employed were significantly older than the stroke patients (59 vs 55 years, p < .001). In total, 82 % of stroke patients and 90 % of the NSTEMI patients employed at baseline were still employed at 12 months (p = 06). Stroke patients at work after 12 months had higher education than unemployed patients. There were no difference between employed and unemployed patients in risk factors or location of cerebral ischemic lesions. Cognitive function did not change significantly in the stroke patients from three to 12 months. For stroke patients, we found a significant association between HADS-depression and unemployment at 12 months (p = 04), although this association was not present at three months. Lower age and higher educational level were associated with employment at 12 months for all patients. Discussion and conclusion: Age and education are the main factors influencing the ability to stay in work after a minor stroke. Employed stroke patients were younger than the NSTEMI patients, but there was no difference in the frequencies in remaining employed. The employment rate at 12 months was high despite the relatively high prevalence of cognitive impairment in both groups.