Blood-clot-related strokes decrease among whites, but not blacks, in long-term study

May 20, 2010

The incidence of blood clot-related strokes fell among whites in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area for the first time, according to long-term surveillance study representative of strokes in blacks and whites nationwide reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

However, there was no decrease in stroke rates among blacks.

"It's encouraging that, for the first time ever in our study area, there is a drop in the most common type of stroke," said Dawn Kleindorfer, M.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati. "However, it's very disappointing that the racial disparity seems to be getting worse."

Investigators found that the age-adjusted annual rate of (those caused by a blood clot) resulting in hospitalization changed between 1999 and 2005 from:

  • 189 to 167 per 100,000 overall, an 11.6 percent drop;
  • 180 to 154 per 100,000 among whites, a 14.4 percent reduction;
  • 263 to 275 per 100,000 among blacks, a 4.6 percent rise, but not a significant change.
The patterns remained the same when out-of-hospital strokes were included. During the same period, researchers found no change in the rate of hemorrhagic strokes (those caused by bleeding).

The likelihood of dying after an ischemic stroke remained steady over time and was similar in whites and blacks, about 10 percent, according to the report.

Researchers used data from the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Study, which gathered information on all first strokes occurring in a five-county area with 1.3 million people. The counties include urban, suburban and rural areas. It's comparable to the nation in education, income and in the percentage of blacks (18 percent), but does not include a substantial proportion of persons of Hispanic ethnicity (less than 3 percent).

"When you look at national maps on mortality, you see many more stroke deaths in blacks," Kleindorfer said. "According to our data, this occurs because blacks are far more likely to have a stroke to begin with, not because they are more likely to die once the stroke happens."

The racial disparity could not be explained by differences in the occurrence and treatment of stroke risk factors. According to a telephone survey conducted in the study area, blacks were more likely than whites to have been diagnosed with risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but they were also more likely to be receiving treatment for these conditions.

"We've done a lot of work in the community to increase stroke awareness and encourage prevention, but the stroke rates are absolutely stable in blacks," Kleindorfer said.

The investigators are collecting 2010 data in their ongoing phase of their epidemiology of project.

Explore further: Alcohol apps aimed at young

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stroke victims experiencing seizures more likely to die

May 19, 2008

Seizures may be a sign of significant brain injury, and may occur in patients that experience any type of stroke. A new study finds that stroke patients with ensuing seizures are more likely to die in the 30 days following ...

Recommended for you

Alcohol apps aimed at young

44 minutes ago

Apps with names like 'Let's get Wasted!' and 'Drink Thin' have led a James Cook University Professor to call for Government action on alcohol advertising on mobile devices.

Proponent of the G spot takes on a critic

1 hour ago

Ashley Furin had a "very satisfying" sex life with her husband, she said. Then, seven years into their relationship, she had "an experience that rocked me to my core." They had found her G spot.

Child-safety expert offers tips for holiday gifts

2 hours ago

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, but it can quickly turn tragic if we're not careful, according to Bridget Boyd, MD, pediatric safety expert at Loyola University Health System.

User comments : 0

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.