Researchers: Mexican-Americans received less intensive care after stroke

Mexican-Americans who had a stroke were less likely to receive inpatient rehabilitation than non-Hispanic whites, according to researchers from the University of Michigan.

“We already know that Mexican-Americans have worse stroke outcomes,” Lewis Morgenstern, MD, a professor at the University of Michigan and a principal researcher of the study, said in a press release. “The main question now is: Why?”

To determine whether allocation of stroke rehabilitation services differed by ethnicity, the researchers followed 72 patients for 90 days after a stroke. They called patients and caregivers every 2 weeks and inquired whether rehabilitation had occurred at home or in another setting, and what kind of service was provided.

Of the 72 patients, 50 were Mexican-American and 22 were non-Hispanic white. The rates of those who received any type of rehabilitation service were not significantly different, according to the release.

Of those who received stroke rehabilitation, 30% of Mexican-Americans had inpatient care compared with 73% of non-Hispanic whites. In addition, 51% of Mexican-American patients had in-home rehabilitation compared with none of the non-Hispanic white patients.

The severity of stroke, age and sex did not differ significantly between the two groups of patients, the researchers noted. In addition, both groups were equally as likely to have health insurance, although the quality varied.

“A lack of intensive rehabilitation may partially explain why Mexican-Americans experience worse neurological, functional and cognitive results in the months after a stroke,” Lynda Lisabeth, PhD, MPH, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health and study coauthor, said in the release.


Morgenstern L, et al. Stroke. 2017;doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.117.016931.

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

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