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Stroke. 2004 Jul;35(7):1557-61. Epub 2004 Jun 10.

Racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular risk factors among stroke survivors: United States 1999 to 2001.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Health Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga 30341, USA.



Stroke mortality is higher among US blacks than it is among US whites. Few studies have examined racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among stroke survivors, especially among Hispanics.


Data are from 96 501 persons aged 18 years or older who participated in the 1999, 2000, or 2001 National Health Interview Survey, a continuous annual household-based survey of the US population. Participants reported a history of stroke, hypertension, diabetes, myocardial infarction, and coronary heart disease. Other CVD risk factors were current smoking, overweight/obese, inadequate physical activity, and binge drinking.


Stroke was reported by 2.8% of blacks, 1.3% of Hispanics, and 2.2% of whites. Among 2265 stroke survivors, blacks were 1.65-times more likely (95% CI, 1.55 to 1.75) and Hispanics were 0.73-times less likely (95% CI, 0.69 to 0.78) than whites to report hypertension. Hispanics and blacks were more likely than whites to report diabetes (P<0.05). Hispanics and blacks were less likely than whites to report total coronary heart disease (P<0.05). Overweight was 1.63-times higher among blacks (95% CI, 1.55 to 1.73) and 1.36-times higher (95% CI, 1.30 to 1.44) among Hispanics than whites. Blacks were 1.82-times more likely (95% CI, 1.71 to 1.94) and Hispanics 2.09-times more likely (95% CI, 1.98 to 2.22) than whites to report inadequate levels of physical activity. Binge drinking and smoking were less common among Hispanics and Blacks than among whites (P<0.05).


Racial and ethnic disparities exist in stroke prevalence and CVD risk behaviors and medical history. Targeted secondary prevention will be important in reducing disparities among Hispanic and black stroke survivors.

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