In the largest analysis of its kind to date, a review found that Asian-Americans are more likely to have severe ischemic strokes and with worse outcomes than white patients. The study focused on ischemic strokes - when a blood vessel to the brain is blocked or narrowed - which accounts for about 87 percent of all strokes that occur in the U.S.
The research analyzed data on 1.77 million acute ischemic stroke patients, of whom 96 percent were white and 4 percent were Asian-American. Researchers found that being of Asian-American ethnicity was associated with poorer recovery and less frequent treatment with alteplase, the clot-busting drug used to improve a stroke patient’s recovery. The study also showed that Asian-Americans using alteplase were more likely to have bleeding complications.
Yet the research also indicates that patient care improved between 2004 and 2016. Stroke severity decreased in white patients and administration of alteplase increased in Asian-American patients.