International Stroke Conference
February 19–21, 2020
Charlotte Zerna, MD, MSc
Go Red For Women was created in 2004 and is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s health awareness and focus on research into women’s cardiovascular health, and it is meant to empower female patients to take charge of their own heart and brain health to improve outcomes. This year’s International Stroke Conference featured multiple sessions under the Go Red For Women track. The inaugural Paolo de Rango Memorial Session about sex differences in stroke was moderated by Nada El Husseini (Durham, NC) and Amytis Towfighi (Los Angeles, CA).
Salvador Cruz-Flores (El Paso, TX) emphasized that differences have to be avoidable, unjust, and unfair to constitute a disparity and can occur in any one group when compared to the most advantaged group. These differences systematically place socially disadvantaged groups at further disadvantage in regards to their health. Such disparities or social determinants of health are, for example, the adoption of health-promoting behavior and exposure to unhealthy/stressful living and working conditions, as well as access to health care and other public services. Measuring health disparity necessitates an indicator variable for one’s health, an indicator variable for one’s social position, and the ability to compare the health indicators across social position strata. A recent study by Rinaldo and colleagues was able to show the racial and ethnic disparities in the utilization of acute treatment for ischemic stroke in the United States.1 Intravenous alteplase was offered to 4.3% more white patients compared to black/Hispanic patients. About 10% more were also admitted to an endovascular-capable center, and 2.8% more received endovascular treatment.