A study by researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center finds a racial disparity in care for stroke victims. The research, published in the journal Stroke, found that blacks were less likely than whites to receive tPA, the most effective drug treatment for stroke victims.
The reasons for the disparity include the fact that blacks often do not go to the hospital immediately after a stroke and when they do arrive it is too late for tPA to be effective in breaking up the clot blocking blood flow to the brain.
Also, blacks are more likely than whites to have preexisting conditions such as hypertension which precludes the use of tPA.
The authors of the study point to the need for educational efforts to inform African Americans of the importance of getting medical treatment as soon as possible after a stroke occurs.