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Wide Variations Seen in U.S. Stroke Care

Posted 7 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 – Americans' odds of receiving a drug that can halt strokes in progress may vary widely depending on their ZIP codes, a new study finds. Experts said the findings, reported in the July issue of the journal Stroke, help verify what everyone has suspected: There are disparities in emergency stroke care across the United States, specifically in the use of a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. And the magnitude of the disparities was "striking," said senior researcher Dr. James Burke, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In 20 percent of hospital markets, not a single stroke patient received tPA over four years, Burke's team found. In others, up to 14 percent of stroke patients received the drug. The big question is: Why? "We really don't know what's driving this," Burke said. The hospital markets that most often gave tPA were ... Read more

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