National Institute on Aging

Racial Disparity in Misdiagnoses of Stroke Patients

som_logoA new study led by a research team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore finds that emergency room physicians tended to misdiagnose stroke symptoms among African American patients more often than for White patients.

Researchers examined federal health care data for more than 187,000 patients at 1,016 hospital emergency rooms. They found that 12.7 percent of patients later admitted to the hospital after suffering a stroke had been sent home from the emergency room within the last 30 days after complaining of stroke-like symptoms. Black and other minority patients were 30 percent more likely than Whites to misdiagnosed, according to the study.

The study, “Missed Diagnosis of Stroke in the Emergency Department: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Large Population-Based Sample,” was published on the website of the journal Diagnosis. The article may be downloaded here.


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