AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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How Much Does Race Play a Role in Stroke Risk?

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Although 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 journal Neurology. The study’s researchers found that the interaction between black race and age appears to be remarkably different for the risk of first stroke versus the second. The study analyzed 29,682 people over the course of seven years and found there was very little difference in race for the risk of a second stroke. Of the 29,689 participants who had never had a stroke when the study began, 818 people experienced a first stroke during the study and 301 suffered a second stroke. The researchers found that among those without a stroke at the start of the study, African-Americans were 2.7-times more likely to have a stroke than the white participants at age 45, however, there was no difference at age 85. Race did not appear to increase second stroke risk for African-American participants at any age. “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,” said the study’s lead author. “These risk factors include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, irregular heartbeat and others.” To read more about this study, click here.

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