Disparities in the Use of Seizure Medications after Intracerebral Hemorrhage

Andrew M. Naidech*, Paloma Toledo, Shyam Prabhakaran, Jane L. Holl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - We investigated potential disparities in the use of prophylactic seizure medications in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage. Methods - Review of multicenter electronic health record (EHR) data with simultaneous prospective data recording. EHR data were retrieved from HealthLNK, a multicenter EHR repository in Chicago, Illinois, from 2006 to 2012 (multicenter cohort). Additional data were prospectively coded (single-center cohort) from 2007 through 2015. Results - The multicenter cohort comprised 3422 patients from 4 HealthLNK centers. Use of levetiracetam varied by race/ethnicity (P=0.0000008), with whites nearly twice as likely as blacks to be administered levetiracetam (odds ratio: 1.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.43-2.05; P<0.0001). In the single-center cohort (n=450), hematoma location, older age, depressed consciousness, larger hematoma volume, no alcohol abuse, and race/ethnicity were associated with levetiracetam administration (P≤0.04). Whites were nearly twice as likely as blacks to receive levetiracetam (odds ratio: 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-2.89; P=0.002); however, the association was confounded by history of hypertension, higher blood pressure on admission, and deep hematoma location. Only hematoma location was independently associated with levetiracetam administration (P<0.00001), rendering other variables, including race/ethnicity, nonsignificant. Conclusions - Although multicenter EHR data showed apparent racial/ethnic disparities in the use of prophylactic seizure medications, a more complete single-center cohort found the apparent disparity to be confounded by the clinical factors of hypertension and hematoma location. Disparities in care after intracerebral hemorrhage are common; however, administrative data may lead to the discovery of disparities that are confounded by detailed clinical data not readily available in EHRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-804
Number of pages3
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • brain
  • cerebral hemorrhage
  • critical care
  • privacy
  • stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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