Factors Associated With Prehospital Delays in the Presentation of Acute Stroke in Urban China
Background and Purpose—Low rates of thrombolysis for ischemic stroke in China have mainly been attributed to delays in presentation to the hospital. This study aimed to evaluate factors associated with these delays.
Methods—Data were from a prospective, multicenter, hospital-based registry of patients with acute stroke (ChinaQUEST [Quality Evaluation of Stroke Care and Treatment]), which involved 62 hospitals across a variety of economic and geographic regions in China during 2006. Univariate and multivariate analyses were undertaken to determine associations between variables of interest and delays to hospital presentation.
Results—Median time to hospital presentation was 15.0 hours for 6102 cases (interquartile range, 2.8–51.0 hours). A total of 1546 (25%) patients arrived within 3 hours and 2244 (37%) patients arrived within 6 hours after symptom onset. Factors that prolonged time to presentation were: visiting a local doctor before presenting at emergency (OR, 0.48; P<0.001), symptom onset at home (OR, 0.62; P<0.001), transfer to a large (Level III) hospital for management (OR, 0.70; P=0.04), and history of diabetes (OR, 0.78; P=0.01). In contrast, factors that accelerated presentation to the hospital were hemorrhagic stroke (OR, 2.25; P<0.001), history of atrial fibrillation (OR, 1.94; P<0.001), unconsciousness at presentation (OR, 1.91; P<0.001), transfer by ambulance (OR, 1.91; P<0.001), and history of coronary artery disease (OR, 1.20; P=0.04).
Conclusions—Health promotion strategies to improve community awareness of early symptoms of stroke, establishment of an alert system to cater for patients likely to experience stroke at home, and wider availability and use of ambulance services are promising methods to help expedite presentation to hospital poststroke and thereby improve the management of stroke in China.
- Received April 27, 2011.
- Revision received August 25, 2011.
- Accepted September 19, 2011.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.