Prevention crucial to ending racial disparity gap for stroke patients
The Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study evaluated the reason that blacks and U.S. Southerners have higher chances of dying from strokes. According to the research, the higher figures are because of more strokes that happen at younger ages for black populations.
When African-Americans are just 45 years old, it is four times more likely that they will die because of a stroke compared to their white peers. By the time they are 85 years old, there is not any notable difference between white and black stroke death rates.
“The magnitude of public health burden of the racial disparity in stroke is staggering, with an estimated 22,384 'extra' stroke events -- i.e., above what would be expected relative to rates in whites occurring in blacks in 2014,” George Howard, study lead author and professor of biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said. “With a life-long cost of stroke of $104,000 for each of the events, this black-white difference in stroke costs America more than $2.3 billion annually. Obviously, efforts that would even marginally reduce this burden would pay remarkable dividends for the U.S.”
Scientists believe that this study is evidence that younger African-Americans need better prevention measures. An important part of this is raising awareness that there is effective prevention for early strokes, as well as various contributing factors.