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Am J Epidemiol. 2001 Dec 1;154(11):1057-63.

Racial/ethnic disparities in mortality by stroke subtype in the United States, 1995-1998.

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  • 1Epidemic Intelligence Service, Division of Applied Public Health Training, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


Healthy People 2010 objectives for improving health include a goal to eliminate racial disparities in stroke mortality. Age-specific death rates by stroke subtype are not well documented among racial/ethnic minority populations in the United States. This report examines mortality rates by race/ethnicity for three stroke subtypes during 1995-1998. National Vital Statistics' death certificate data were used to calculate death rates for ischemic stroke (n = 507,256), intracerebral hemorrhage (n = 97,709), and subarachnoid hemorrhage (n = 27,334) among Hispanics, Blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and Whites by age and sex. Comparisons with Whites as the referent were made using age-standardized risk ratios and age-specific risk ratios. Age-standardized mortality rates for the three stroke subtypes were higher among Blacks than Whites. Death rates from intracerebral hemorrhage were also higher among Asians/Pacific Islanders than Whites. All minority populations had higher death rates from subarachnoid hemorrhage than did Whites. Among adults aged 25-44 years, Blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives had higher risk ratios than did Whites for all three stroke subtypes. Increased public health attention is needed to reduce incidence and mortality for stroke, the third leading cause of death. Particular attention should be given to increasing awareness of stroke symptoms among young minority groups.

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