African Americans have Higher Risk of Stroke

A recent study shows discouraging results for African Americans and certain risk factors associated with stroke. 



The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston conducted a randomized controlled trial involving patients with symptomatic intracranial atherosclerotic stenosis to examine whether aggressive medical management amelio rates disparities in risk factor control between Black and non-Black patients (104 and 347, respectively). The study looked at the many risk factors ,frequency, mean levels of systolic and diastolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein, hemoglobin A1c, and exercise level at baseline and one-year of follow-up were compared between Black and non-Black patients.

According to researchers, the study identified significant differences at baseline for Black versus non-Black patients in age (57.5 versus 61.0 years), hypertension (95.2 versus 87.5 percent), diabetes (52.9 versus 39.7 percent), mean diastolic blood pressure (82.4 versus 79.5 mm Hg), and mean physician-based assessment and counseling for exercise score (2.7 versus 3.3). At one year, mean diastolic blood pressure and mean physician-based assessment and counseling for exercise scores in Black versus non-Black patients were 74.7 versus 75.5 mm Hg and 4.2 versus 4.1, respectively, which were not significantly different. At one year, no disparities in other modifiable risk factors emerged.

There is some promising news in terms of treatment according to researchers. “Our study found these disparities may be resolved by tailoring care to include lifestyle coaching, medication alterations or additions if appropriate, access to routine health care support, and regular physician follow-up,” a coauthor said in a statement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African Americans are 50 percent more likely to have a stroke (cerebrovascular disease), as compared to their white adult counterparts. Black men are 70 percent more likely to die from a stroke as compared to non-Hispanic whites and African American women are twice as likely to have a stroke as compared to non-Hispanic white women.

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