A population-based study of the incidence of stroke was carried out in an urban area of Melbourne, Australia. The 508 cases were followed up and the survivors interviewed briefly at three months and in more depth six months after the onset of stroke. Fifty-eight per cent of all subjects had survived to six months, and the strongest prognostic indicator was level of consciousness at time of maximum impairment. By six months, 25% of all cases were independent in self-care and mobile outside the home; of those patients aged under 75 years, suffering a first stroke and retaining full consciousness at the time of maximum impairment, the proportion was 50%. A very imperfect correlation was present between residual physical impairment and return to the full range of prestroke activities.
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