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Ethnic variations in the management of patients with acute stroke
  1. J Bourke1,
  2. R Sylvester1,
  3. P Sharma2
  1. 1The Royal London Hospital, UK
  2. 2Hammersmith Hospitals Acute Stroke Unit (HHASU), Imperial College, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr P Sharma
 Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Hammersmith Hospitals Acute Stroke Unit, Imperial College, Fulham Palace Road, London W6 8RF, UK; psharma{at}


Background: There is increasing interest in the management of stroke in ethnic minorities but few studies have considered this issue. This study investigated if differences in acute stroke management exist between a white European and Bangladeshi populations living in London, England.

Methods: All stroke surviving patients discharged over a five year period in a major London teaching hospital based in an ethnically diverse area of inner city London were recruited. Cerebrovascular risk factors, their management, and investigation for acute stroke syndromes were recorded and comparison between white and Bangladeshi cohorts was made. Categorical data were analysed using Fisher’s exact test.

Results: Measurement of cholesterol concentrations are undertaken less often in those from a Bangladeshi background (25%) compared with white Europeans (76%) (p<0.0001). Statin therapy tends to be given less often to Bangladeshis. However, neuroimaging (p<0.05) and echocardiography (p<0.0001) is performed more often in Bangladeshis compared with white Europeans.

Conclusion: There are variations in the management of acute stroke because of ethnicity and these variations could have substantial consequences on secondary rates of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease. Whether the reasons for this disparity are attributable to inequity or iniquity of care need to be further investigated perhaps along with the development of ethnicity specific protocols. Overall the management of stroke and its risk factors in either racial group remains lamentable.

  • stroke
  • South Asians
  • Bangladeshi
  • ethnicity
  • risk factors
  • European

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  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.