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Stroke. 2000 Oct;31(10):2385-9.

Differences in stroke subtypes among natives and caucasians in Boston and Buenos Aires.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Ramos Mejia Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina.gsaposnik@intramed.net.ar



Several issues regarding ethnic-cultural factors, sex-related variation, and risk factors for stroke have been described in the literature. However, there have been no prospective studies comparing ethnic differences and stroke subtypes between populations from South America and North America. It has been suggested that natives from Buenos Aires, Argentina, may have higher frequency of hemorrhagic strokes and penetrating artery disease than North American subjects. The aim of this study was to validate this hypothesis.


We studied the database of all consecutive acute stroke patients admitted to the Ramos Mejia Hospital (RMH) in Buenos Aires and to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIMC) in Boston, Massachusetts, from July 1997 to March 1999. Stroke subtypes were classified according to the Trial of Org 10172 in Acute Stroke Treatment (TOAST) criteria. All information on patients (demographic, clinical, and radiographic) was recorded prospective to the assessment of the stroke subtype.


Three hundred sixty-one and 479 stroke patients were included at RMH and BIMC stroke data banks, respectively. Coronary artery disease was significantly more frequent in BIMC (P:<0.001), whereas tobacco and alcohol intake were significantly more frequent in RMH (P:<0.001). Intracerebral hemorrhage (P:<0.001) and penetrating artery disease (P:<0.001) were significantly more frequent in the RMH registry, whereas large-artery disease (P:<0.02) and cardioembolism (P:<0.001) were more common in the BIMC data bank.


Penetrating artery disease and intracerebral hemorrhage were the most frequent stroke subtypes in natives from Buenos Aires. Lacunar strokes and intracerebral hemorrhage were more frequent among Caucasians from Buenos Aires than Caucasians from Boston. Poor risk factor control and dietary habits could explain these differences.

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