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Socioeconomic determinants of outcome after childhood arterial ischemic stroke



To determine whether lower socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with worse 1-year neurologic outcomes and reduced access to rehabilitation services in children with arterial ischemic stroke (AIS).


From 2010 to 2014, the Vascular effects of Infection in Pediatric Stroke (VIPS) observational study prospectively enrolled and confirmed 355 children (age 29 days-18 years) with AIS at 37 international centers. SES markers measured via parental interview included annual household income (US dollars) at the time of enrollment, maternal education level, and rural/suburban/urban residence. Receipt of rehabilitation services was measured by parental report. Pediatric Stroke Outcome Measure scores were categorized as 0 to 1, 1.5 to 3, 3.5 to 6, and 6.5 to 10. Univariate and multivariable ordinal logistic regression models examined potential predictors of outcome.


At 12 ± 3 months after stroke, 320 children had documented outcome measurements, including 15 who had died. In univariate analysis, very low income (p = 0.004). In multivariable analysis, including adjustment for stroke etiology, this association persisted (OR 3.17, 95% CI 1.18-8.47, p = 0.02). Income did not correlate with receiving rehabilitation services at 1 year after stroke; however, quality and quantity of services were not assessed.


In a large, multinational, prospective cohort of children with AIS, low income was associated with worse neurologic outcomes compared to higher income levels. This difference was not explained by stroke type, neurologic comorbidities, or reported use of rehabilitation services. The root causes of this disparity are not clear and warrant further investigation.

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