Factors Associated with Delay in Presentation to the Hospital for Young Adults with Ischemic Stroke

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Objectives: Young adults with ischemic stroke may present late to medical care, but the reasons for these delays are unknown. We sought to identify factors that predict delay in presentation. Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of adults aged 18-50 admitted to a single academic medical center between 2007 and 2012. Results: Eighty six of 141 (61%) young adults with ischemic stroke presented at the health center more than 4.5 h after stroke onset. Diabetes was associated with delays in presentation (p = 0.033, relative risk (RR) 1.4 (95% CI 1.1-1.8)), whereas systemic cancer was associated with early presentations (p = 0.033, RR 0.26 (95% CI 0.044-1.6)). Individuals who were single were more likely to present late than those who were married or living with a partner (p = 0.0045, RR 1.7 (95% CI 1.3-2.2)). Individuals who were unemployed were more likely to present late than those who were employed or in school (p = 0.020, RR 1.4 (95% CI 1.1-1.8)). Age (dichotomized as 18-35 and 36-50), race, home medications, other medical conditions (including common stroke mimics in young adults), and stroke subtype were not determinants of delay in presentation, although there was a trend toward delayed presentations in women (p = 0.076) and with low stroke severity (dichotomized as National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) ≤5 and NIHSS >5, p = 0.061). Conclusions: A majority of young adults with ischemic stroke presented outside the time window for intravenous fibrinolysis. Diabetes, single status, and unemployed status were associated with delayed presentation.

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