Background: The effect of age and hypertension on the functional performance of stroke patients with inpatient rehabilitation has not been studied in the past.
Objective: To examine whether advanced age and hypertension influence the functional gains of stroke patients undergoing rehabilitation.
Methods: The charts of two hundred and seventy-two patients with thromboembolic strokes from an impatient rehabilitation unit divided into five age groups (<49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, 70 to 79 and>80 years) were reviewed. The patients’ functional progress was measured by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) at admission (A-FIM) and at discharge (D-FIM). The difference of D-FIM from A-FIM is the gain in FIM. This gain in FIM as a fraction of the Length of Stay (LOS) is the Efficiency Ratio (ER). The differences among the averages of the five age groups of the A-FIM, D-FIM, LOS and ER for the male-female and hypertensive-non-hypertensive groups were statistically analysed separately through the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), the F-ratios and the Student’s t-tests.
Results: Patients younger than 60 years of age had statistically significant (p<0.00004) functional progress (ER) compared to patients older than 60. Similarly, non-hypertensives 60 and younger had higher functional gains than hypertensive patients (p<0.05) while there was no significant difference among the patients over age 60 with or without hypertension.
Conclusion: Younger non-hypertensive patients seem to show better progress with inpatient rehabilitation.