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Circulation. 2010 Apr 6;121(13):1492-501. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.881490. Epub 2010 Mar 22.

Race/ethnicity, quality of care, and outcomes in ischemic stroke.

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1
Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, Boston MA 02114, USA. lschwamm@partners.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Prior studies suggest differences in stroke care associated with race/ethnicity. We sought to determine whether such differences existed in a population of black, Hispanic, and white patients hospitalized with stroke among hospitals participating in a quality-improvement program.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We analyzed in-hospital mortality and 7 stroke performance measures among 397,257 patients admitted with ischemic stroke to 1181 hospitals participating in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke program 2003 through 2008. Relative to white patients, black and Hispanic patients were younger and more often had diabetes mellitus and hypertension. After adjustment for both patient- and hospital-level variables, black patients had lower odds relative to white patients of receiving intravenous thrombolysis (odds ratio [OR], 0.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77 to 0.91), deep vein thrombosis prophylaxis (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.83 to 0.92), smoking cessation (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.79 to 0.91), discharge antithrombotics (OR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.84 to 0.92), anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation (OR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.75 to 0.94), and lipid therapy (OR, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.88 to 0.96), and of dying in-hospital (OR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.85 to 0.95). Hispanic patients received similar care as their white counterparts on all 7 measures and had similar in-hospital mortality. Black (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.28 to 1.35) and Hispanic (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.20) patients had higher odds of exceeding the median length of hospital stay relative to whites. During the study, quality of care improved in all 3 race/ethnicity groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Black patients with stroke received fewer evidence-based care processes than Hispanic or white patients. These differences could lead to increased risk of recurrent stroke. Quality of care improved substantially in the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Program over time for all 3 racial/ethnic groups.

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