Research indicates that you may survive a stroke on a weekday, but if it's a weekend, your chances are grim.
A new study states that people admitted to the hospital on a weekend after a stroke are more likely to die compared to people admitted on a weekday, regardless of the severity of the stroke they experience.
"We wanted to test whether the severity of strokes on weekends compared to weekdays would account for lower survival rates on the weekends. Our results suggest that stroke severity is not necessarily the reason for this discrepancy," said Moira K. Kapral of the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
The researchers analysed five years of data from the Canadian Stroke Network on 20,657 patients with acute stroke from 11 stroke centres in Ontario but only the first stroke a person experienced was included in the study.
The study found that seven days after a stroke, people seen on weekends had an 8.1 percent risk of dying compared to a 7.0 percent risk of dying for those seen on weekdays. The results stayed the same regardless of age, gender, stroke severity, other medical conditions and the use of blood clot-busting medications.
"Stroke is not the only condition in which lower survival rates have been linked for people admitted to hospitals on the weekends. The reason for the differences in rates could be due to hospital staffing, limited access to specialists and procedures done outside of regular hours," Kapral added.
There were no differences found in the quality of stroke care, including brain scans and admission time, between weekends and weekdays.
The study is published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.