Monday, August 20, 2012

Blacks who survived a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain had higher blood pressure than whites a year later, according to a new study

The finding might help explain why blacks have a greater risk of suffering a second stroke than whites. The research was designed to examine racial and ethnic differences in strokes known as intracranial hemorrhage or ICH. ICHs account for 10% of all strokes, but carry a death rate of about 40% in the first month after the stroke, much higher than other types of stroke. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor associated with ICH. The study included 162 patients (the average age was 59, 53% were male, and 77% were black) who were treated for their initial stroke at hospitals in the Washington, D.C. area. Researchers say that half of those individuals in the study had high blood pressure a year after their stroke, even though most were taking medication to help lower their blood pressure. At 1 year, 63% of black patients had high blood pressure compared to 38% of whites.

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