Processes of Care and Associated Factors in Patients With Stroke by Immigration Status

George F Mkoma*, Søren P Johnsen, Charles Agyemang, Jakob N Hedegaard, Helle K Iversen, Grethe Andersen, Marie Norredam

*Corresponding author for this work


BACKGROUND: Receiving evidence-based stroke care processes is associated with good clinical outcome. However, data on early stroke care among immigrants are scarce.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether guideline-recommended acute stroke care and associated factors differ between immigrants and Danish-born residents.

DESIGN: Patients admitted with ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke diagnoses (n=129,724) between 2005 and 2018 were identified from the Danish Stroke Registry.

RESULTS: We included 123,928 Danish-born residents and 5796 immigrants with stroke. Compared with Danish-born residents, immigrants were less likely to be admitted to a stroke unit within 24 hours after stroke onset (81.5% vs. 83.9%, P<0.001) and had lower odds of early stroke care including dysphagia screening, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and nutritional assessment. After adjustment for age, sex, clinical, and sociodemographic factors, immigrants had lower odds of early stroke unit admission (odds ratio [OR]: 0.97; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), early dysphagia screening (OR: 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98), early physiotherapy (OR: 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99), and early occupational therapy (OR: 0.96; 95% CI, 0.93-0.98) than Danish-born residents. Small absolute differences in overall quality of stroke care were found when comparing immigrants and Danish-born residents. Significant factors associated with greater likelihood of stroke care included high income, high education, and cohabitation.

CONCLUSIONS: Immigrants had lower chances of early stroke unit admission and received fewer individual early stroke care processes such as dysphagia screening, physiotherapy and occupational therapy than Danish-born residents. However, the absolute disparities were in general minor and largely influenced by socioeconomic status and cohabitation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Care
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)120-129
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


  • Deglutition Disorders/therapy
  • Emigrants and Immigrants
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Stroke/therapy


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