Patients Living in Impoverished Areas Have More Severe Ischemic Strokes July 5, 2012.

Background and Purpose—Initial stroke severity is one of the strongest predictors of eventual stroke outcome. However, predictors of initial stroke severity have not been well-described within a population. We hypothesized that poorer patients would have a higher initial stroke severity on presentation to medical attention.

Methods—We identified all cases of hospital-ascertained ischemic stroke occurring in 2005 within a biracial population of 1.3 million. “Community” socioecomic status was determined for each patient based on the percentage below poverty in the census tract in which the patient resided. Linear regression was used to model the effect of socioeconomic status on stroke severity. Models were adjusted for race, gender, age, prestroke disability, and history of medical comorbidities. Read more