Friday, May 6, 2011

Why Blacks May Suffer Disproportionately From Stroke

Credit: Lightspring/Shutterstock
As researchers and clinicians try to understand and remedy race-related disparities in general and mental health care, one clue appears in a study published in the latest issue of the journal Stroke. The researchers found that when blacks experience symptoms of stroke, they are likely to first call a friend or relative instead of calling 911. With the speed of medical intervention critical to stroke outcome, this delay may explain in part why blacks in the U.S. appear to suffer disproportionately from strokes. The study was conducted in an underserved urban population that is predominately black and found that among hospitalized stroke patients in a large hospital in Washington, D.C., only 12 percent called 911 to request medical help. Other studies have found that blacks are also less likely than whites to receive treatments that break up brain blood clots that cause stroke, in part because of delays in getting to the hospital. For information about how racial disparities affect mental health and its treatment, see and


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