The aim of this study was to assess the specific influence of age on basal functional status and rehabilitation results. We conducted a case-comparison study on 150 stroke inpatients. They were enrolled in homogeneous subgroups, matched for severity of stroke (measured by Canadian Neurological Scale – CNS) and onset admission interval (within 3 days) and divided into five subgroups according toage: ≤50; 51–64; 65–74; 75–84; and ≧85 years. Even when severity of stroke was the same, increasing age was associated with greater disability in activities of daily living (ADL) and mobility, minor results of rehabilitation treatment and shorter length of stay. Patients ≧85 years were nearly ten times as likely to show a low response in ADL (OR = 9.28, 95% CI = 2.89–29.76) and nearly six times in mobility (OR = 6.13, 95% CI = 2.18–17.25) than younger patients. However, rehabilitation treatment was efficacious also in patients ≧85 years, with effectiveness of treatment 27.96% on ADL and 18.64% on mobility. On one hand our results confirm the unfavorable influence of age on functional outcome and on the other that inpatient rehabilitation is substantially effective also for very old patients, although less than for younger ones.

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