Association of total serum cholesterol with functional outcome following home care rehabilitation in Italian patients with stroke

Maria Concetta Cataldo, M.D., Maria Luisa Calcara, M.D., Giuseppe Caputo, M.D., Caterina Mammina, M.D.

Published Online: December 30, 2011

Disability and Health Journal, April 2012 Volume 5, Issue 2, Pages 111–116



Stroke is a disabling disease. In elderly populations, stroke is the third leading cause of death and the primary cause of reduction in or loss of functional ability and personal autonomy. Possible associations between levels of total serum cholesterol (TC) and both incidence of stroke and functional outcomes after rehabilitation are still under study.


To detect positive and negative prognostic factors associated with functional outcomes in first-time stroke patients admitted to an integrated home care rehabilitative program.


This study enrolled 141 patients with a first-time stroke who were admitted to a home care rehabilitation program. Primary outcome measures were the Barthel activities of daily living (ADL) and mobility indices at the beginning and end of the rehabilitative treatment. The impact of TC and other demographic and clinical variables was analyzed using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses.


Age and Short Portable Mental Status Questionnaire (SPMSQ) score were negatively associated with functional outcome. In contrast, elevated TC was positively associated with a better home rehabilitative treatment outcome. Barthel index score at admission was negatively associated with outcomes assessed by the Barthel ADL index and age with outcomes assessed by the Barthel mobility index. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, SPMSQ score and elevated TC were significantly associated with outcome. Specifically, higher SPMSQ scores were negatively associated with better rehabilitative treatment outcomes, whereas elevated TC was positively associated.


Elevated TC seems to be associated with better functional outcomes in patients with first-time stroke.