Prompt medical attention is considered key to improving the odds of surviving and to preventing disabilities from a stroke. However, nearly half of U.S. residents can't get to a primary stroke center within an hour, according to another study slated for presentation at the meeting.
Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania noted that using more air ambulances could increase that to nearly 80 percent, however.
A third study to be presented at the conference found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, blacks are more likely than whites to survive an ischemic stroke, which occurs when a clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain. This is the most common type of stroke.
The study, involving 3,583 people age 65 and older who had a stroke, found that blacks were less likely to die within a year after a stroke than were whites. The researchers, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, noted that blacks were more likely to receive such lifesaving interventions as hemodialysis, used for those with kidney disease, and intravenous or tube feeding, used for those with post-stroke swallowing problems.
The American Stroke Association has more on stroke.
SOURCES: Brett Kissela, M.D., associate professor and vice chairman, education and clinical services, University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute, Cincinnati; Brian Silver, M.D., stroke neurologist, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit; Feb. 24, 2010, presentations, American Stroke Association, International Stroke Conference, San Antonio
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