BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Few studies have evaluated the long-term health impact of stroke as categorized into different subtypes. The aim of this study is to quantify the loss of quality-adjusted life expectancy related to ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage. METHODS: The hospital-based cohort, which consisted of 13,194 patients with first-ever stroke onset dates between 1995 and 2007, was classified into lacunar and nonlacunar infarctions and intracerebral hemorrhages. After linking with the National Mortality Registry, survival functions were determined and extrapolated over a 50-year period based on the survival ratio between the patients' survival and age- and sex-matched reference population's as calculated from the vital statistics of Taiwan. The survival functions were then multiplied by the quality of life assessed under the EuroQol 5-dimension (EQ-5D) questionnaire based on a sample of 486 patients with stroke. RESULTS: The quality-adjusted life expectancy for a patient with ischemic stroke was 8.7 quality-adjusted life-years with an average loss of 8.3 quality-adjusted life-years, and there appeared to be no difference between lacunar and nonlacunar infarctions. Patients with intracerebral hemorrhage had a similar quality-adjusted life expectancy as those with ischemic stroke but with a significantly greater loss relative to the reference population (14.1 quality-adjusted life-years) because of younger ages. CONCLUSION: The lifelong health burden due to stroke was approximately 9.5 quality-adjusted life-years and should be considered in future cost-effectiveness analyses for prevention.
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