Ethnic Differences in Stroke Outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand: A National Linkage Study

Denison, Hayley
Corbin, Marine
Douwes, Jeroen
Thompson, Stephanie
Harwood, Matire
Davis, Alan
Fink, John N
Barber, P Alan
Gommans, John
Cadilhac, Dominique
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Journal Article
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SAGE Publications

BACKGROUND: Ethnic differences in post-stroke outcomes have been largely attributed to biological and socioeconomic characteristics resulting in differential risk factor profiles and stroke sub-types, but evidence is mixed.

AIMS: This study assessed ethnic differences in stroke outcome and service access in New Zealand (NZ) and explored underlying causes in addition to traditional risk factors.

METHODS: This national cohort study used routinely collected health and social data to compare post-stroke outcomes between NZ Europeans, Māori, Pacific Peoples, and Asians, adjusting for differences in baseline characteristics, socioeconomic deprivation, and stroke characteristics. First and principal stroke public hospital admissions during November 2017-October 2018 were included (N=6,879). Post-stroke unfavourable outcome was defined as being dead, change in residence, or unemployed if working pre-stroke.

RESULTS: In total, 5,394 NZ Europeans, 762 Māori, 369 Pacific Peoples and 354 Asians experienced a stroke during the study period. Median age was 65 years for Māori and Pacific Peoples, and 71 and 79 years for Asians and NZ Europeans, respectively. Compared with NZ Europeans, Māori were more likely to have an unfavourable outcome at all three time-points (OR=1.6 (95%CI=1.3-1.9); 1.4 (1.2-1.7); 1.4 (1.2-1.7), respectively). Māori also had increased odds of death at all time-points (1.7 (1.3-2.1); 1.5 (1.2-1.9); 1.7 (1.3-2.1)) and unemployment at twelve months (2.5 (1.2-5.2). There was evidence of differences in post-stroke secondary prevention medication by ethnicity.

CONCLUSIONS: We found ethnic disparities in care and outcomes following stroke, independent of traditional risk factors raising concern for potential unconscious bias and institutional racism in stroke services.

Data linkage , Disparities , Ethnicity , Indigenous , Stroke , Stroke outcomes , Disparities , data linkage , ethnicity , indigenous , stroke , 4202 Epidemiology , 4206 Public Health , 42 Health Sciences , Prevention , Aging , Clinical Research , Brain Disorders , Stroke , 2 Aetiology , 2.4 Surveillance and distribution , Stroke , 1103 Clinical Sciences , 1109 Neurosciences , Neurology & Neurosurgery , 3202 Clinical sciences , 3209 Neurosciences , 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science
International Journal of Stroke, ISSN: 1747-4930 (Print); 1747-4949 (Online), SAGE Publications, 18(6), 663-671. doi: 10.1177/17474930231164024
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