Younger black people are three times more likely to have a stroke than their white peers, but they may not be at greater risk for a second stroke, new research suggests.
“The interaction between black race and age appears to be remarkably different for the risk of first versus second stroke,” said study author George Howard, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“There was very little difference in race for the risk of a second stroke,” he said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.
The seven-year study involved almost 30,000 people, including close to 3,000 with a history of stroke. Over the course of the study, about 300 of the people who had a previous stroke suffered another one. Meanwhile, just over 800 of the remaining people had their first stroke during the study period.
By the age of 45, the black study participants with no history of stroke were almost three times more likely to have one than the white participants. This discrepancy disappeared by the age of 85. But race wasn’t associated with a greater risk for a second stroke among black people at any age, according to the study published online Jan. 20 in Neurology.
“Almost all of the ‘traditional’ risk factors for a first stroke proved to also be a risk factor for a second stroke, suggesting that controlling these risk factors may help avoid both conditions,” Howard said in the news release. “These risk factors include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, irregular heartbeat and others.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on risk factors for stroke.