older-adult-strokeA study conducted by the University of Albany suggests that older Caucasian patients have the highest rate of mortality from acute ischemic stroke (AIS) among all racial and ethnic groups. Led by Feng (Johnson) Qian, assistant professor of Health Policy, Management & Behavior, University of Albany, the team used the American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines (GWTG)-Stroke Registry in conjunction with a Medicare claim data set to investigate potential race/ethnicity differences in 30-day and 1-year outcomes among older AIS patients.

According to a news release from the university, the study was also the first such study to include Asian-American stroke patients. The study encompassed more than 200,000 AIS patients aged 65 years and older from 926 US centers participating in the GWTG-Stroke program between April 2003 and December 2008. The results suggest that among older AIS patients, significant differences were present in 30-day and 1-year outcomes by race and ethnicity. Researchers add that older Caucasian patients with AIS exhibited the highest 30-day mortality rates of any racial/ethnic group.

The results go on to indicate that when compared to Caucasian patients, African American and Hispanic patients were more likely to be readmitted to hospitals within 1 year, and had comparable risk for 1-year mortality. The researchers state that when compared to other race/ethnicity groups, Asian-American AIS patients exhibited fewer co-morbid conditions, higher median household income, and lower median body mass index. The study also notes that Asian-American had the lowest risk-adjusted odds of 1-year mortality.

The university release reports that racial and ethnic disparities in stroke are a challenge in public health, and little is known regarding racial or ethnic differences in long-term acute ischemic stroke outcomes.

[Source: University at Albany]