Social factors influencing hospital arrival time in acute ischemic stroke patients

Neuroradiology. 2012 Apr;54(4):361-7. doi: 10.1007/s00234-011-0884-9. Epub 2011 May 12.


Introduction: This is a multi-center, hospital-based study aiming to estimate social factors influencing pre-hospital times of arrival in acute ischemic stroke, with a perspective of finding ways to reduce arrival time and to augment the number of patients eligible for intra-arterial thrombolysis.

Methods: Acute ischemic stroke patients who presented at the emergency units of four major general public hospitals were registered. We assessed information concerning demographics, time of presentation, clinical situation, imaging, treatment, and socioeconomic factors. The sample was divided in two sub-samples, based on the time of arrival since onset of symptoms, and was statistically analyzed.

Results: During one calendar year (2005), 907 patients were registered. Among them 34.6% arrived in the first 6 h from symptom onset, 38.7% arrived between 6 and 24 h, 18.1% after 24 h and for 8.6% the time of onset was unknown. Younger age (P = 0.007), transfer with ambulatory service (Ρ = 0.002), living with a mate (Ρ = 0.004), and higher educational level (P < 0.005) were factors which correlated significantly with early arrival at the hospital.

Conclusions: Instructing patients at high risk for stroke to live with a housemate appears beneficial for timely arrival at the hospital. The establishment of dedicated acute stroke call and transportation center should improve the percentage of early arrival. A national information campaign is needed to increase the level of awareness of the population concerning beneficial social behaviors and optimal reaction to symptoms of acute ischemic stroke.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Brain Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Emergency Medical Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Patient Admission / standards*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Time Factors