Unequal Access to Treatment With Intravenous Alteplase for Women With Acute Ischemic Stroke
Background and Purpose—A recent meta-analysis showed that women with acute ischemic stroke are less likely to receive treatment with intravenous alteplase than men. The aim of this study was to assess sex differences in treatment with intravenous alteplase and to explore the reasons for these differences.
Methods—We analyzed data from the Promoting Acute Thrombolysis for Ischaemic Stroke (PRACTISE) study. We applied a multiple logistic regression model and expressed the association between sex and treatment with an age-adjusted odds ratio with 95% confidence interval.
Results—In total, 5515 patients were included in PRACTISE. Women were an average of 4 years older than men. The median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score was 6 in women and 5 in men. Fewer women were treated with intravenous alteplase (11% versus 14%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7–1.0). However, fewer women arrived within 4 hours after onset (27% versus 33%; adjusted odds ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval, 0.7–0.9).
Conclusions—Fewer women present themselves within 4 hours from stroke onset than men and consequently less often receive thrombolytic treatment. This difference may be caused by the older age of women on average and consequently women more often living alone.
- Received May 27, 2013.
- Accepted June 5, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.