Strokes will increase dramatically over the coming decades, with increases being considerably steeper in Mexican-Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites, according to research funded by The National Institutes of Health and presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011.
“The tremendous number of strokes projected has large personal, social and economic consequences for the United States,” said Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson, investigator at the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, USA.
According to the study, the researchers expect an increase in strokes among Mexican-Americans from about 26,000 in 2010 to more than 120,000 in 2050 (350% increase) and a rise in strokes among non-Hispanic whites from about 300,000 in 2010 to more than a half million in 2050 (75% increase).
The projections are based on data from the US Census and data collected between 2000 and 2008 from the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project, an ongoing community-based study in southeastern Texas that compares stroke in Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
Both hemorrhagic and ischaemic strokes were included in the analysis. To calculate the projected numbers of stroke in the future, researchers assumed incidence rates would remain constant over the years. They took annual incidence rates and multiplied these figures by corresponding ethnic, age and sex-specific projected population counts by the decade.
“Efforts to prevent stroke and reduce stroke-related disability in both Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic whites are critical,” said Lynda D. Lisabeth, co-author and associate professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan, USA. “Lifestyle changes can reduce one’s risk for stroke.”
More research is also needed to understand the excess burden among Mexican-Americans, she said. “Further study of stroke in Mexican-Americans may clarify new intervention targets. Our group is currently targeting stroke prevention through Catholic churches, which might be a novel setting for successful intervention in Mexican-Americans.”