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.

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 July 23, 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 July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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:
from the past week

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