Improving Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Stroke Care: Ralph Sacco, MD, MS, FAAN, FAHA

The chair of neurology and Olemberg Family Chair of Neurological Disorders at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine provided plans of action to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in stroke.

"Working with EMS, there have been transport policies that have been established. EMS has a big program now that they’re trying to get dispatchers to be better trained in recognizing stroke, with certain symptoms over the phone so that they can dispatch appropriately.”

At the American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference (ISC) 2021, March 17-19, there were a number of presentations that focused on disparities in stroke care among different racial and ethnic groups. More specifically, data showed disparities in the delivery of endovascular therapy, timelines in hospital presentation in patients with ischemic stroke, and trends in intracerebral hemorrhage outcomes.

The disparities observed raise questions about the consistency of providing optimal stroke care to all backgrounds. Ralph Sacco, MD, MS, FAAN, FAHA, was an investigator for a number of these presentations, claiming that it’s time to start turning statistics into action.

Sacco, chair of neurology and Olemberg Family Chair of Neurological Disorders at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, feels that educational campaigns and raising awareness for blood pressure check-ups are 2 ways to begin to alleviate these disparities. In an interview with NeurologyLive, he discusses why these disparities remain prevalent, and the necessary steps needed to optimize more consistent care.