Which patient groups are at highest risk of stroke?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Andrew Danziger; Chief Editor: L Gill Naul, MD  more...
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According to data published by the American Heart Association, blacks have a risk of first-ever stroke that is nearly double that for whites. The age-adjusted incidence of first ischemic stroke per 100,000 was 88 in whites, 191 in blacks, and 149 in Hispanics, according to data from the Northern Manhattan Study (NOMAS) of stroke and stroke risk factors. In a US study, researchers found that blacks had a 3-fold higher multivariate-adjusted risk ratio of lacunar stroke than whites. [1]  An increased proportion of intracerebral hemorrhage and lacunar infarcts have been reported in Asia.

Stroke is an important health issue in women because their incidence of stroke exceeds that in men at older ages. This may in part be secondary to the greater lifespan of women compared to men and the effects of hormone status on cardiovascular disease following menopause. Women 45-54 years are reported to be more than twice as likely as men to suffer a stroke. Overall, 55,000 more women than men have a stroke annually in the United States. [1]

Stroke is a disease of increasing importance in the elderly population, with approximately 75% of strokes occurring in those older than 65 years. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the age-specific incidence of stroke increases with each decade of life.

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