Stroke Outcomes in US Improve with Wealth

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iStock/Thinkstock(TORONTO) — Living well is the best way to survive a stroke, at least in the U.S., so say doctors from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

In a study of thousands of U.S. and Canadian patients who suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding in the brain, researchers found that Americans in the top 25 percent of the income scale were 13 percent less likely to die from a stroke than their less well-off counterparts.

Higher survival rates among U.S. citizens living in wealthier neighborhoods can be traced to better insurance, easier access to high-quality specialized care and more attention to preventative treatment.

However, the discrepancy among well-to-do and poorer Canadians in terms of receiving quality care for a subarachnoid hemorrhage was not as great.

The researchers believe the better outcomes after strokes have to do with Canada’s universal healthcare for low-income patients, which offers prevention and management of related conditions.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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