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Stroke Rates Decline, But Still Higher in Mexican Americans

Study finds stroke reduced by 36% in Texas population (August 13)

During the previous decade, the incidence of ischemic stroke fell among non-Hispanic Caucasians and Mexican-Americans 60 years of age and older. However, the increased relative burden of stroke in these two groups did not change during this period. Overall, Mexican-Americans had many more strokes of this type (34%) compared with non-Hispanic Caucasians. The new findings were reported online in the Annals of Neurology.

Hispanics/Latinos are now the largest minority group in the U.S. (17% of the population). This number is projected to increase to more than 30% by 2050. In previous research, Mexican-Americans had higher stroke rates than non-Hispanic Caucasians. Stroke occurs at much younger ages in minority groups, often resulting in more disability and higher costs.

For the new study, investigators at the University of Michigan performed population-based stroke surveillance in subjects 45 years of age and older living in Corpus Christi, Texas, between January 2000 and December 2010. Two-thirds of the subjects were Mexican-American, and the remaining subjects were primarily non-Hispanic Caucasians. Most of the subjects (87%) were born in the U.S.; 11% were born in Mexico; and 1% did not know their country of birth.

The rate ratios (Mexican-American:non-Hispanic Caucasian) were 1.94 , 1.50, and 1.00 among those aged 45 to 59 years, 60 to 74 years, and 75 years or older, respectively. Thus, in subjects aged 45 to 74 years, the stroke disparities between non-Hispanic Caucasians and Mexican-Americans persisted.

The overall incidence of ischemic stroke declined during the study period by 35.9%. This decline was limited to those aged 60 years or older, and happened in both ethnic groups similarly (P > 0.10).

Source: Annals of Neurology; August 13, 2013.

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