Racial disparities related to outcomes exist among stroke patients

Two new studies indicate that racial disparities related to outcomes exist among stroke patients, including one study that specifically examines stroke patients with COVID-19. The abstracts were presented today at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's (SNIS) 17th Annual Meeting.

The first study, Ischemic Stroke Associated with Covid-19 and Racial Outcome Disparity in North America, finds mortality rates in African American stroke patients with COVID-19 are significantly greater than all other races combined in North America. Additionally, the study, which emanates from the North American Neurovascular COVID-19 (NAN-C) Consortium, shows that the mortality rate of COVID-19-positive stroke patients is greater than previously reported in patients who just have COVID-19 or stroke alone. The research analyzed 69 cases of acute stroke in patients positive for SARS-CoV-2, including 27 African Americans and 42 of other racial backgrounds.

Clearly it is important to better understand the reasons for increased mortality in African Americans with COVID-19-associated stroke. It is our hope that further research will help us reduce racial disparities and prevent negative outcomes."

Dr. Adam A. Dmytriw, lead author of the study and Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital

Another study released on the same day, Racial Disparities in Acute Stroke Thrombectomy Management and Outcomes in the United States: Evidence from the NVQI-QOD Registry, by lead author Vineeth Thirunavu found several racial disparities after stroke thrombectomy with respect to post-procedure management and outcomes. Specifically, minorities exhibited worse immediate post-procedural outcomes and a greater length of in-hospital and ICU stays. Although African Americans suffer less in-hospital mortality compared to Caucasians, the odds of increased favorable clinical outcome did not increase.

For the second study, researchers analyzed data from the NVQI-QOD registry and compared racial differences with respect to technical and functional outcomes of stroke thrombectomy in 3,281 African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, and Asian patients from 23 U.S. stroke centers across 17 states between January 2015 and March 2020.

"The study suggests disparities in how African American and Hispanic patients fare with regard to post-stroke recovery and hospital course after thrombectomy," said Dr. Sameer Ansari, senior author of the second study, Medical Director of the SNIS Patient Safety Organization, and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Radiology, Neurology, and Neurological Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We are just initiating our investigations and the research potential of the NVQI-QOD registry for uncovering racial disparities in stroke patients, and with this increased knowledge we can strive to ensure better outcomes for all patients, irrespective of their racial and genetic profile."

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