Research Highlights:

  • An analysis of hospital data found that Black and Hispanic women, ages 65-74 years old hospitalized with stroke, had more severe strokes than white women of the same age.
  • In addition, Black and Hispanic women ages 65-84 years old were more likely to be discharged to skilled nursing or rehabilitation facilities after stroke, compared to older, white stroke patients who were discharged home.

Embargoed until 4 a.m. CT/5 a.m. ET Thursday, March 11, 2021

DALLAS, March 11, 2021 — Black and Hispanic women ages 65-74 years old hospitalized with stroke had more severe strokes than their white counterparts, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference 2021. The virtual meeting is March 17-19, 2021 and is a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science of stroke and brain health.

According to the American Heart Association, Black women have a higher rate of stroke (3.8%) when compared to white women (2.5%) of similar age, which could lead to a higher death rate or worse quality of life.

“The Black and Hispanic female stroke survivors 65-84 years old were younger and had a greater chance of being sent to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation center when compared to older white females who were discharged home after their stroke,” said study author Trudy R. Gaillard, Ph.D., R.N., an associate professor at Florida International University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences in Miami, Florida.

Researchers analyzed Get With The Guidelines® Stroke health information in 1,587 female patients who were discharged after a stroke from Baptist Hospital of Miami from April 2014 to March 2019. The female stroke patients were categorized by age group: 65-74 years old (young), 75-84 years old (middle) and 85 years or older (older). The data analyzed included stroke type and severity; other health issues; age; race/ethnicity; and discharge information – whether patients were discharged home, to a skilled nursing center or to a rehabilitation facility. Black women with stroke accounted for about 27% of all patients; while 37.5% were Hispanic and about 35% were white. Among the participants ages 85 years or older hospitalized for stroke, 18.4% were Black women, 36% were Hispanic women and about 40% were white women.

Researchers found:

  • Black and Hispanic women ages 65-74 years old hospitalized with stroke had more severe strokes than white women of the same age group.
  • Nearly 99% of the women had health insurance, although Black women were the most likely to be without health insurance.
  • After controlling for age, race, and stroke severity, Black and Hispanic women in the younger (65-74 years) and middle age (75-84 years) groups had a greater chance of being sent to a skilled nursing or rehabilitation center when compared to white women in the oldest age group (85 years and older).

“Future studies are needed to explore the type of health care facilities that women are discharged to after stroke and to examine the quality of care received,” Gaillard said. “This type of study should be done in multiple cities, across care settings, including inpatient rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities or home with or without home health and outpatient rehabilitation services.”

Limitations of the study include that it was done in only one hospital and the researchers did not examine patients’ outcomes after discharge.

Co-authors are Joan Vaccaro, Ph.D.; Amy K. Starosciak, Ph.D.; Starlie Belnap, Ph.D.; and Felipe De Los Rios La Rosa, M.D., FAHA. Author disclosures are in the abstract.

The Nicole Wertheim Innovation Opportunity Endowment Fund of the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Science at Florida International University funded this study.

Additional Resources:

Statements and conclusions of studies that are presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and biotech companies, device manufacturers and health insurance providers are available here, and the Association’s overall financial information is available here.

The American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference (ISC) is the world’s premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease. ISC 2021 will be held virtually, March 17-19, 2021. The 3-day conference features more than 1,200 compelling presentations in 21 categories that emphasize basic, clinical and translational sciences as they evolve toward a better understanding of stroke pathophysiology with the goal of developing more effective therapies. Engage in the International Stroke Conference on social media via #ISC21.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter


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