Study shows race, geography barriers for effective stroke treatment

Some groups, including minorities and those in different geographic regions, may be undertreated for stroke, according to a report published Wednesday in the journal Neurology.

Researchers analyzed data from 61,698 eligible patients with acute ischemic stroke tracked from 2003 to 2011 in a voluntary national hospital database from the American Heart Association, reports Kaiser Health News.

They found that 25 percent of the 61,698 eligible patients with AIS presenting within two hours of onset were not treated with IV tissue plasminogen activator — a stroke treatment involved in the breakdown of blood clots — within three hours.

They also found that failure to give tPA decreased over time from 55 percent in 2003 to 2005 to 18 percent in 2010 to 2011.

According to Kaiser Health News, stroke patients living in the Northeast states were more than twice as likely to receive tPA than those living in the Midwest and the South. Additionally, blacks who were evaluated for stroke severity were 26 percent less likely to get the medication, and other minorities were 17 percent less likely to secure the drug, the report states.


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