Fatigue is a common complaint and a disabling symptom among patients following transient ischemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke. In patients with stroke, decreased cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is believed to be related to increased severity of post-stroke fatigue (PSF). However, this association between PSF and CRF in patients with TIA or minor stroke has been less investigated, and currently there is no proven treatment for PSF. We aimed to determine the association between PSF and CRF in patients with TIA or minor stroke and to find out whether this association was distorted by confounders. A cross-sectional association study was conducted among a total of 119 patients with TIA or minor stroke. PSF was measured by the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) and CRF was quantified by maximal exercise capacity (V̇O2max). The FSS showed a significant association with V̇O2max (ß = −0.061, SE: 0.022; p = 0.007). This association was confounded by anxiety (ß = −0.044, SE: 0.020; p = 0.028) and depression (ß = −0.030, SE: 0.022; p = 0.177) as measured by the subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). After controlling for HADS scores on depression and anxiety, the univariate relationship between V̇O2max and FSS was no longer significant. These results suggest that the association between PSF and CRF in patients with TIA or minor stroke is weak and significantly confounded by the factors of depression and anxiety.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2023|