Background/Purpose The aim of our study is to evaluate the frequency of aphasia and to describe the characteristics of aphasics among a large sample of acute stroke patients in Italy. Methods Out of the 11572 stroke patients hospitalised within 48h from stroke onset, included in the PROSIT study, we selected 9594 alert cases for the estimation of aphasia frequency. The presence of aphasia was accepted when registered in the clinical records at the first neurological examination. All patients/caregivers underwent to a 2-year telephone follow-up evaluation. Results Twenty-eight per cent of alert acute stroke patients had aphasia, which was associated with arm and/or limb weakness in 74% of cases. In our series, aphasia was more frequent in females than males, in patients older than 75 years and was associated with more severe stroke. Aphasics, compared with nonaphasics, died more frequently. Aphasia was also significantly associated with residual poststroke disability. Conclusions This is the first study considering the frequency of aphasia in a wide population of hospitalised acute stroke patients. The presence of aphasia is more common in patients with severe stroke and contributes to residual disability. Our findings should be considered for setting early specific rehabilitation programmes.
- Cognitive impairment
ASJC Scopus subject areas