Racial and ethnic disparities in the use of intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and outcomes for acute ischemic stroke

Deena M Nasr, Waleed Brinjikji, Harry J Cloft, Alejandro A Rabinstein
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2013, 22 (2): 154-60
Racial and ethnic disparities in acute stroke care in the United States have been previously reported. This study investigated possible racial and ethnic disparities in the administration and outcome of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) therapy for acute ischemic stroke in whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Using the National Inpatient Sample for 2001-2008, we selected patients with a primary diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke who received treatment with rtPA. Patient data were stratified by race (white, black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander). We analyzed the association of patient race on rtPA utilization rate, in-hospital morbidity (ie, discharge to long-term facility), intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) rate, and in-hospital mortality. We performed a multivariate logistic regression analysis to determine independent predictors of poor outcomes. White patients had a higher rate of tPA utilization than black and Hispanic patients (2.3% vs 1.8% and 2.0%, respectively; P < .0001 for both groups). There was no difference in the rate of tPA utilization between whites and Asian/Pacific Islanders (2.3% vs 2.2% P = .07). Multivariate analysis of morbidity, mortality, and ICH rates found that Asian/Pacific Islanders had significantly higher rates of mortality (odds ratio, 1.22, 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.44; P = .02) and ICH (odds ratio, 2.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.91-2.11; P < .0001) compared with whites. rtPA utilization was greater in white and Asian/Pacific Islander patients than in black and Hispanic patients. Asian/Pacific Islander race was associated with increased risk of ICH and mortality after rtPA administration.

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