Over the past 50 years, death rates from strokes have gone down almost 70%. However, a recent study indicates that long-time racial disparities in stroke rates and deaths still persist.
Researchers at the University of Alabama reviewed data for 30,000 black and white study participants and discovered that Black participants 45-54 years old suffered more deadly strokes than white participants the same age. A higher percentage of Black study participants also had more existing stroke risk factors than white participants like diabetes (31% vs 16%) and high blood pressure (71% vs 51%).
Researchers also found that once a participant suffered a stroke — Black and white stroke victims died at the same rates. This finding indicates that the disparity in stroke deaths for people 45-54 year old arises from a higher incidence of stroke and not lower rates of stroke survival. This difference in stroke rates disappears for older participants — with Black and white participants over 75 years suffering strokes at similar rates.
In order to reduce the increased stroke rates among Black people in this age range it is important to know and reduce your risk factors for stroke. You can read about ways to reduce your stroke risks here.
–Janell Mayo Duncan
COPYRIGHT©2016 by Living Well Black, Inc.®
 Racial Disparities in Stroke Incidence and Death, NIH Research Matters, National Institutes of Health, June 21, 2016. (viewed June 24, 2016)
 Where to Focus Efforts to Reduce the Black-White Disparity in Stroke Mortality: Incidence Versus Case Fatality? Howard G, Moy CS, Howard VJ, McClure LA, Kleindorfer DO, Kissela BM, Judd SE, Unverzagt FW, Soliman EZ, Safford MM, Cushman M, Flaherty ML, Wadley VG; REGARDS Investigators. Stroke. 2016 Jun 2. pii: STROKEAHA.115.012631. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 27256672. Funding: NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).