Women Stroke Survivors Fear Disparity in Emergency Care


Women with a history of stroke believe that they are less likely to receive adequate emergency care due to their gender, race, or ethnicity.


  • The study used responses from 3498 participants enrolled in the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Research Goes Red registry from May 2019 to February 2023.

  • 89 participants had experienced a stroke in the past 10 years (10.1% Black and 5.6% Hispanic women).

  • The study assessed the link between stroke history and perceptions of gender- and race/ethnicity-based discrimination in emergency care, including lack of prompt care, dismissal/downplaying of symptoms.


  • Women with a history of stroke were over three times more likely to anticipate inadequate emergency care due to their gender (OR, 3.23; P < .001) and race/ethnicity (OR, 3.88; P = .007).

  • They were also more likely to fear delayed attention, dismissal of symptoms, lack of assistance from bystanders in emergencies, and symptom misdiagnosis based on gender or race/ethnicity.

  • They believed they were less likely to get quality medical care and respect based on their gender or race.

  • They also believed they were less likely to receive adequate care if the healthcare professional was a man or did not share the same race or ethnicity.


“This study was an important first step in characterizing healthcare perceptions in women with a history of stroke. We would hypothesize that negative healthcare perceptions would be associated with delays in care. Because treatment for stroke is very time sensitive, any such delays could lead to worse outcomes from stroke,” the first author Brian Stamm, MD, clinical instructor of neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School, told Medscape Medical News.


The study, performed by Stamm and colleagues, was published online in Stroke on November 6, 2023.


  • Information on clinical outcomes and delays in stroke care was not included.

  • This study was an internet-based survey with unclear representativeness.


AHA’s Research Goes Red registry is partly funded by the Bugher Trust Foundation and others.

Tracy E Madsen reported receiving grants from the AHA and National Institutes of Health. The other authors declared no conflict of interest.

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