22,384 extra strokes are suffered by African-Americans and experts believe more efforts need to made for prevention.
New research has found that middle-age black Americans have a higher chance of dying from strokes than white Americans and not because of differing care situations. Blacks are four times more likely to suffer and die from a stroke than white peers according to the recent study.
The investigation referred to as The REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) Study used data from over 30,000 Americans from all over the U.S. and found that although middle-age deaths were higher in blacks, the risk evened out against whites once stroke sufferers hit the age of 85 according to a UPI report.
Author of the study George Howard who is professor of biostatistics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health explains how the findings are alarming and believes the effects these extra stroke events are putting a strain on the U.S. public health system.
“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. 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.”
African Americans have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes – factors that can lead to stroke. Experts believe that more should be done in targeting the prevention of strokes because there is currently too much emphasis on treating people once a stroke has already been suffered.
“We need to do more to focus on prevention and control of risk factors before they result in a stroke. Unfortunately, most of the research resources are focused on treating stroke patients and preventing recurrent stroke,” explained Howard.
The study also showed there was no racial differences in people who have already survived a stroke – blacks and whites had an equal risk of death.
The study was funded by National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and published in the journal Stroke.