Racial disparities in risk of stroke

May 24, 2017, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Micrograph showing cortical pseudolaminar necrosis, a finding seen in strokes on medical imaging and at autopsy. H&E-LFB stain. Credit: Nephron/Wikipedia

In a Correspondence in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers led by Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, explore the impact of efforts to reduce risk factors for stroke in black patients. Cheng and colleagues write, "There has been a disparity between blacks and whites in the rates at which the contributions of risk factors for stroke have diminished. Given the potential for interventions to modify the risk of stroke, targeted efforts to address particular risk factors may reduce the overall burden of stroke among blacks."

Researchers examined trends in the contributions of major risk factors for —hypertension, obesity, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and smoking—in 15,350 adults, 26 percent of whom were black. Over an average of 24 years, 1,243 participants experienced a stroke. Researchers determined the population attributable risk, an estimate of the proportion of disease in the study population that can be attributed to an exposure. They found that the contributions of major risk factors for stroke - such as hypertension, smoking and diabetes - are decreasing, likely reflecting increasing awareness and treatment. The contributions of all risk factors combined decreased from 73 percent in 1990 to 41 percent in 2010 across the entire participant sample

However, when analyzing according to race, found that the contribution of all risk factors combined was associated with a greater decline in the risk of stroke among whites (66 percent in 1990 to 34 percent in 2010) than among blacks (84 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2010). The difference was primarily driven by the disparity in the reduction of hypertension. Researchers note that for most that contribute to the incidence of stroke, declining trends among men were similar to those among women.

Cheng, a physician and researcher in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at BWH is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Most recently, she was senior author on a separate paper, published in the British Medical Journal, about the prognosis and heritability of that begins early in life. Her research focuses on how aging promotes the development of cardiovascular risk and disease.

Explore further: Prevention may be essential to reducing racial disparities in stroke

Related Stories

Prevention may be essential to reducing racial disparities in stroke

June 2, 2016
Blacks between the ages of 45 and 54 die of strokes at a rate that is three times greater than their white counterparts, according to the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study, which looked ...

Study shows risk factor prevention should be addressed at all ages

September 29, 2016
Prevention of cardiovascular disease in mid- to later life in black and white Americans is an increasingly important health concern, according to a study from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke project ...

Stroke risk factors centered in Southeast United States

February 9, 2017
The Southeastern United States features the highest concentrations of people living with stroke risk factors like high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking, according to researchers who mapped the data.

How much does African-American race play a role in stroke risk?

January 20, 2016
Even though young African-Americans are at three times greater risk of a first stroke than their white counterparts, they may not be at a higher risk for a second stroke, according to a study published in the January 20, ...

Blacks, women face greater burden from CVD risk factors

August 11, 2014
The impact of major cardiovascular risk factors combined is greater in women than men and in blacks than whites. While the gender gap may be narrowing, differences by race may be increasing, according to new research in the ...

Pre-stroke risk factors influence long-term future stroke, dementia risk

July 14, 2016
If you had heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, before your first stroke, your risk of suffering subsequent strokes and dementia up to five years later may be higher, according to new research in the American ...

Recommended for you

As body mass index increases, blood pressure may as well

August 17, 2018
Body mass index is positively associated with blood pressure, according to the ongoing study of 1.7 million Chinese men and women being conducted by researchers at the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CORE) ...

Gout could increase heart disease risk

August 17, 2018
Having a type of inflammatory arthritis called gout may worsen heart-related outcomes for people being treated for coronary artery disease, according to new research.

Stroke patients treated at a teaching hospital are less likely to be readmitted

August 17, 2018
Stroke patients appear to receive better care at teaching hospitals with less of a chance of landing back in a hospital during the early stages of recovery, according to new research from The University of Texas Health Science ...

Cardiovascular disease related to type 2 diabetes can be reduced significantly

August 16, 2018
Properly composed treatment and refraining from cigarette consumption can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease resulting from type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the New England Journal of ...

Genomic autopsy can help solve unexplained cardiac death

August 15, 2018
Molecular autopsies can reveal genetic risk factors in young people who unexpectedly die, but proper interpretation of the results can be challenging, according to a recent study published in Circulation.

Neonatal pig hearts can heal from heart attack

August 15, 2018
While pigs still cannot fly, researchers have discovered that the hearts of newborn piglets do have one remarkable ability. They can almost completely heal themselves after experimental heart attacks.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.