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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Racial and socioeconomic disparities in access to mechanical revascularization procedures for acute ischemic stroke

Frank J Attenello, Peter Adamczyk, Ge Wen, Shuhan He, Katie Zhang, Jonathan J Russin, Nerses Sanossian, Arun P Amar, William J Mack
Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases: the Official Journal of National Stroke Association 2014, 23 (2): 327-34
23680690

BACKGROUND: Mechanical revascularization procedures performed for treatment of acute ischemic stroke have increased in recent years. Data suggest association between operative volume and mortality rates. Understanding procedural allocation and patient access patterns is critical. Few studies have examined these demographics.

METHODS: Data were collected from the 2008 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database. Patients hospitalized with ischemic stroke and the subset of individuals who underwent mechanical thrombectomy were characterized by race, payer source, population density, and median wealth of the patient's zip code. Demographic data among patients undergoing mechanical thrombectomy procedures were examined. Stroke admission demographics were analyzed according to thrombectomy volume at admitting centers and patient demographics assessed according to the thrombectomy volume at treating centers.

RESULTS: Significant allocation differences with respect to frequency of mechanical thrombectomy procedures among stroke patients existed according to race, expected payer, population density, and wealth of the patient's zip code (P < .0001). White, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander patients received endovascular treatment at higher rates than black and Native American patients. Compared with the white stroke patients, black (P < .001), Hispanic (P < .001), Asian/Pacific Islander (P < .001), and Native American stroke patients (P < .001) all demonstrated decreased frequency of admission to hospitals performing mechanical thrombectomy procedures at high volumes. Among treated patients, blacks (P = .0876), Hispanics (P = .0335), and Asian/Pacific Islanders (P < .001) demonstrated decreased frequency in mechanical thrombectomy procedures performed at high-volume centers when compared with whites. While present, socioeconomic disparities were not as consistent or pronounced as racial differences.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate variances in endovascular acute stroke treatment allocation according to racial and socioeconomic factors in 2008. Efforts should be made to monitor and address potential disparities in treatment utilization.

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