The role of race in time to treatment after subarachnoid hemorrhage

Neurosurgery. 2007 May;60(5):837-43; discussion 837-43. doi: 10.1227/01.NEU.0000255451.82483.50.


Objective: Blacks have higher mortality rates from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) than Caucasians. The time to treatment for aneurysmal SAH has been found to correlate with mortality and outcome. Therefore, we examined racial differences in the time to treatment of aneurysmal SAH among patients from the Greater Cincinnati area.

Methods: We evaluated data from 439 adult aneurysmal SAH patients prospectively identified from May 1997 to August 2001 and July 2002 to March 2005. The primary outcome measure was time to treatment, defined as elapsed time from arrival in the emergency department to aneurysm treatment. A multivariable model was constructed to determine the role of potential variables, including race, on time to treatment for SAH.

Results: In univariate analysis, Caucasian patients were significantly older than black patients (P < 0.0001) and were more likely to be male (P = 0.014), insured (P < 0.0001), and transferred from emergency departments of presentation to other hospitals (P < 0.0001). Black patients were more likely to have anterior circulation aneurysms (P = 0.009) and preexisting hypertension (P < 0.001). In univariate analysis, anterior circulation aneurysms showed a trend toward earlier treatment than posterior circulation aneurysms (P = 0.07). In multivariable models, race was not associated with time to treatment or case-fatality rate. Patients transferred from other facilities were treated more expeditiously than patients who presented directly to the emergency department (P = 0.003), and a history of diabetes mellitus was associated with delay in treatment (P = 0.05).

Conclusion: Race was not associated with time to treatment after aneurysmal SAH in the Greater Cincinnati area. Reducing the increased burden of SAH mortality among blacks must be addressed at the prevention stage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Continental Population Groups*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / mortality*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome