Women less likely to receive specialized medical evaluations after stroke

Hospitalized women with ischemic stroke were less likely than men to be evaluated by stroke specialists and get specialized diagnostic tests, according to preliminary research to be presented in Honolulu at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2019, a world premier meeting for researchers and clinicians dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease.

Previous studies found that there are gender differences in stroke risk factors, incidence, treatment and in how stroke survivors fare mentally and physically.

In this study of nearly 67,000 ischemic stroke survivors drawn from a nationally representative sample of Medicare beneficiaries, researchers examined whether there were gender differences in hospital evaluation after stroke.

They found small but notable differences, suggesting women hospitalized with stroke were less likely than men to see stroke specialists and receive imaging and other tests to diagnose stroke.

Female stroke survivors had a:

  • 6 percent less likelihood of having intracranial vessel imaging;
  • 10 percent less likelihood of having cervical vessel imaging;
  • 8 percent less likelihood of being monitored for heart-rhythm irregularities; and
  • 8 percent less likelihood of having echocardiography.

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