A higher stroke rate — not differences in care after a stroke — is the reason why middle-aged black Americans are more likely to die from a stroke than whites, a new study suggests.
Researchers reviewed data from almost 30,000 people across the United States. At age 45, blacks were four times more likely to die of stroke than whites. By age 85, stroke death rates were the same for blacks and whites, the study showed.
But while middle-aged blacks were more likely than whites to die from a stroke, there were no black-white differences in the risk of death among stroke survivors, according to the study in the June 2 issue of the journal Stroke.
“The magnitude of public health burden of the racial disparity in stroke is staggering, with an estimated 22,384 ‘extra’ stroke events [occurring in black people in 2014],” study author George Howard, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said in a journal news release.
The researchers said their findings show the need to boost efforts to prevent and control stroke risk factors that are more common in blacks, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more on stroke.