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Racial Gap for Stroke Admissions in U.S. Hospitals

Admissions more common for black and Hispanic stroke patients in high-quality hospitals

FRIDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Likelihood of admission to high-quality hospitals, for African-American and Hispanic patients with stroke, has increased from 2000 to 2006, according to a study published in the Spring issue of Ethnicity and Disease.

Jay J. Shen, Ph.D., from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and Minggen Lu, Ph.D., from the University of Nevada at Reno, investigated the impact of race and ethnicity in admission to high-quality hospitals and mortality risk among varying ethnic groups of stroke patients. A total of 273,532 adult patients with stroke from 2000 to 2006 were divided by race (white, African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander), and hospitals were divided into four groups based on risk-adjusted overall stroke mortality rate rankings. Disparities in attending the four groups of hospitals and differences in mortality risk among patients in the four racial/ethnic groups were examined.

The investigators found that the likelihood of admission to a high-quality hospital increased among African-American and Hispanic/Latino patients from 2000 to 2006; however, a low likelihood of admission to high-quality hospitals persisted among Asian/Pacific Islanders. Outcome disparities did not vary in a predictable manner during this period.

"African-American and Hispanic/Latino patients became increasingly more likely to be admitted to better quality hospitals in 2006 as compared to 2000, while Asian/Pacific Islander patients experienced no improvement and persistent disparities in this area," the authors write.

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