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J Am Heart Assoc. 2012 Jun;1(3):e001685. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.001685. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Delay in presentation after an acute stroke in a multiethnic population in South london: the South london stroke register.

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1
King's College London, Division of Health and Social Care Research, London, United Kingdom (J.A., S.A., J.L., A.G.R., C.M., C.D.A.W.) ; National Institute for Health Research Comprehensive Biomedical Research Centre, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom (J.A., C.D.A.W.).

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Delayed presentation to hospital after an acute stroke is a major explanation given for low thrombolysis rates. This study aimed to investigate the factors associated with delays in presentation after an acute stroke and changes after a mass media campaign.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Data were from a population-based study involving 1392 patients with first-ever strokes between 2002 and 2010 in a multiethnic South London population. Associations were determined between prehospital delay (≥3 hours) and variables of interest, including ethnicity, by using multivariate logistic regression analyses. Differences in prehospital delay and thrombolysis rates were determined for the period immediately before and after the FAST mass media campaign (2007/2008 versus 2009/2010). The median (Q(1) to Q(3)) time to presentation was 4.73 (1.55 to 12.70) hours, and 550 (39.5%) presented within 3 hours of symptom onset. In multivariate analysis, patients of black ethnicity had increased odds of delay (odds ratio: 1.63; 95% confidence interval, 1.11 to 2.38), whereas those with more severe strokes characterized by a higher National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score (odds ratio: 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.20 to 0.61) had reduced odds of delay. There was no difference in the proportion of patients who arrived within 3 hours (P=0.30) in the period immediately before and after the FAST campaign (40.7% in 2007/2008 versus 44.9% in 2009/2010). Among patients with ischemic stroke, 119 (11.0%) received thrombolysis between 2002 and 2010, with no difference observed between the pre- and postcampaign periods (16.9% versus 16.4%).

CONCLUSION:

Significant delays in seeking care after stroke still occur in this population despite efforts to increase public awareness. Future educational programs must identify and specifically address factors that influence behavior and should target those at higher risk of delay. (J Am Heart Assoc. 2012;1:e001685 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.112.001685.).

KEYWORDS:

associated factors; ethnicity; prehospital delay; stroke

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