Another medical study focusing on health trends in minorities has revealed that cases of ischemic stroke, which is the most common type of stroke, have decreased in the last 10 years.
The study, led by Dr. Lewis B. Morgenstern from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, reveals that incidences of ischemic stroke among non-Hispanic Whites and Mexican Americans older than 60 years old have declined. What’s interesting is that despite this decline, the increased relative burden of stroke comparing Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic Whites has not changed, showing 34% of Mexican Americans are still afflicted with this condition. The findings of this study are available in Annals of Neurology.
Hispanics and Latinos comprise 17% of the U.S. population, making them the largest minority group in the country. According to projections from this year’s U.S. Census, this number will increase to about 30% by the year 2050. Past studies revealed that Mexican Americans were more at risk for stroke than non-Hispanic Whites, which raises a concern for public health when this minority group ages. Experts say that the cost of stroke for the first half of this century alone in the country could extend beyong $1.5 trillion.
Dr. Morgenstern explains that stroke occurs at much younger ages in minority groups, which increases the risk for premature, life-altering disabilities and notably higher costs. He said that because incidences of stroke affect personal, family and economic aspects, it’s important to focus on the rapidly growing population of Mexican Americans.
In this study, Dr. Morgenstern’s research team carried out a population-based study of incidences of stroke among subjects aged 45 years and older, residing in Corpus Christi, Texas from January 2000 to December 2010. This community is comprised of 2/3 Mexican Americans, and 1/3 non-Hispanic White, with 87% born in the country and 11% in Mexico – who on the average have lived in the country for 52 years.
The research’s findings showed that stroke occurred in 2,604 Mexican Americans, compared to 2,042 non-Hispanic Whites, which amounts to the 36% decline in incidences throughout the period of the study. Data analysis highlighted that the decrease in stroke incidences was exclusive to those 60 years old and up and could be seen in both ethnic groups.
Dr. Morgenstern said that even thought the decline in stroke incidences is encouraging, there is still a need to further research and development initiatives to prevent stroke especially in Mexican Americans.
Photo from http://www.strokecenter.org.