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Date posted: 16 February 2012
Indigenous Australians who suffer a stroke are less likely to receive life-saving care than non-Indigenous Australians treated in the same hospitals, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Stroke.
The study closely examines the Indigenous patient data collected as part of a national stroke audit.
It finds that Indigenous people aged between 18 and 64 are three times as likely to die or be dependent when they are discharged from hospital.
Indigenous people are also about 30% less likely to be treated in the specialised stroke unit of a hospital than non-Indigenous people.
Indigenous patients are less likely to receive aspirin within 48 hours of their stroke or to be discharged with clot-busting medication.
Senior researcher on the project, Monique Kilkenny from Monash University, said the research could not identify the reasons why post-stroke treatment varied by Indigenous status and more research was needed.
The chief executive of the National Stroke Foundation, Erin Lalor, said the study used only a small subset of data collected through the national stroke audit.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald