Background: Sex is a contributing factor to inequalities in stroke care. In line with the aims of the FL-PR CReSD Study to assess Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-S) quality improvement data, we sought to compare stroke performance metrics by sex among 9 GWTG-S participating Puerto Rico hospitals from 2010-2014.
Methods: Age and NIHSS-adjusted hierarchical generalized linear models, stratified by sex, were evaluated for the following GWTG-S performance metrics: IV tPA treatment, early antithrombotic therapy, DVT prophylaxis, antithrombotic therapy at discharge, anticoagulation therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF) at discharge, statin medication at discharge, smoking cessation counseling, defect-free care (compliance with all performance measures), in addition to CT scan ≤25 minutes and door-to-IV tPA administration ≤60 minutes of hospital arrival.
Results: Among 3,277 acute ischemic stroke cases, 48% were women. As compared to men, women were older (72±14 vs. 68±13 years, P<0.0001) with higher NIHSS scores (10±8.5 vs. 9±7.7, P=0.005). Women were less likely to receive IV tPA ≤ 4.5 hours among eligible patients arriving ≤ 3.5 hours (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.51-0.98, P=0.04), early antithrombotic therapy (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.75-0.97, P=0.02), DVT prophylaxis (OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.88-0.99, P=0.03), statin medication at discharge (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.78-0.93, P=0.0001), and anticoagulation for AF at discharge (OR 0.67, 95% CI 0.49-0.92, P=0.01) despite having higher rates of AF at admission (11% vs. 7%, P=0.001). Rates of IV tPA for patients arriving ≤ 2 hours, antithrombotic therapy at discharge, and smoking cessation counseling showed no sex differences. While women were less likely to have a CT scan ≤ 25 minutes of hospital arrival compared to men (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.74-0.93, P=0.002), no difference was found in door-to-IV tPA administration ≤ 60 minutes. Although an overall temporal improvement in defect-free care was observed from 2010-2014 (31% to 63%, P<.0001), women were less likely to receive this measure than men (OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85-0.97, P=0.007).
Conclusions: Overall, stroke care remains lower for Puerto Rican women than men. Continued adoption of the GWTG-S quality improvement program may help reduce sex disparities in quality of care across the island.