Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Washington, D.C. study shows racial disparities in emergency stroke treatment

Date:
July 1, 2011
Source:
Washington Hospital Center
Summary:
A recent Washington, D.C. citywide study demonstrates racial disparities in the use of clot-busting drugs to treat acute ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke.

A Washington, D.C. citywide study published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association demonstrates racial disparities in the use of clot-busting drugs to treat acute ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke.

Related Articles


According to the study's results, significantly fewer black patients receive the drug tPA than whites because of delays in seeking emergency care and the presence of medical conditions that exclude them from receiving the treatment. On the other hand, racial bias in doctors' treatment decisions do not appear to be a factor.

Amie Hsia, MD, medical director of the Stroke Center at Washington Hospital Center and assistant professor in Georgetown University's Department of Neurology, led the study that looked at 1,044 patients treated for stroke from Feb. 1, 2008 to Jan. 31, 2009 at seven acute-care hospitals in the District of Columbia.

Of the patients studied, 775 (80%) were black, and 198 (20%) were white. Only three percent of the black patients received intravenous tPA, the best available treatment, versus 10 percent of the white patients. Formally known as tissue plasminogen activator, tPA has been demonstrated to improve stroke outcomes by breaking up the clot that is blocking the blood flow to the brain.

In order for tPA to be effective, a patient must be treated within three hours of the onset of symptoms and show disabling deficits such as pronounced weakness or severe speech difficulty. Additionally, patients can be ineligible for tPA if they have had a recent stroke, a history of a brain bleed or blood pressure that's too high to safely administer the treatment.

According to the study, the vast majority of black patients are ineligible for the treatment once they arrive at the hospital in large part because of the delay in seeking treatment and the effects of poorly controlled stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure or a recent stroke that made them unsafe candidates for treatment. For those eligible for tPA, there were no statistical differences in the race of those who received treatment, indicating that race was not a factor in whether doctors administered tPA to eligible patients.

The study falls in line with one published online in the same journal on May 5, 2011, also from Dr. Hsia, which reveals that blacks more often called friends or family first instead of 911 when they experienced stroke symptoms, often leading to a delay in treatment and poor outcomes.

"This finding is, on one hand, reassuring to us as providers because it shows no bias on the part of those treating the patients as the reason for disparities in the administration of tPA," said Dr. Hsia. "However, it also highlights the crucial need for more effective education targeted to our urban black population on the symptoms of stroke and actions they must take in order to get proper treatment right away."

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington Hospital Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amie W. Hsia, Dorothy F. Edwards, Lewis B. Morgenstern, Jeffrey J. Wing, Nina C. Brown, Regina Coles, Sarah Loftin, Andrea Wein, Sara S. Koslosky, Sabiha Fatima, Brisa N. Sαnchez, Ali Fokar, M. Chris Gibbons, Nawar Shara, Annapurni Jayam-Trouth, and Chelsea S. Kidwell. Racial Disparities in Tissue Plasminogen Activator Treatment Rate for Stroke: A Population-Based Study. Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.111.613828

Cite This Page:

Washington Hospital Center. "Washington, D.C. study shows racial disparities in emergency stroke treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701150445.htm>.
Washington Hospital Center. (2011, July 1). Washington, D.C. study shows racial disparities in emergency stroke treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701150445.htm
Washington Hospital Center. "Washington, D.C. study shows racial disparities in emergency stroke treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701150445.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins