News Picture: Blacks, Hispanics Suffer Second Bleeding Strokes More Often

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WEDNESDAY, June 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Black and Hispanic Americans have a much higher risk of a second bleeding stroke than whites, and more research is needed to find out why, a new study suggests.

Bleeding (hemorrhagic) strokes account for only 10 to 15 percent of all strokes, but they are the deadliest and most disabling type of stroke. And people who’ve had a bleeding stroke are at high risk of another one, which is often fatal, according to the study authors.

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Researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,300 Americans who survived a bleeding stroke and found that rates of a second bleeding stroke were 1.7 percent among whites, 6.1 percent among Hispanics and 6.6 percent among blacks.

Compared to whites, the risk of a second bleeding stroke was nearly twice as high among blacks and about 70 percent higher among Hispanics.

After accounting for higher average blood pressure among black and Hispanic patients, the researchers found that compared to whites, the risk of a second stroke was still nearly twice as high among blacks and about 50 percent higher among Hispanics.

“Since controlling high blood pressure is the main method of preventing second strokes and we know that there are racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of high blood pressure and its severity, we really wanted to investigate these differences,” said study author Dr. Alessandro Biffi, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

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“Differences in blood pressure among these groups do not fully account for the differences in the risk of having another stroke,” he added.

There were limitations to the study: The number of recurrent strokes was limited and only long-term blood pressure changes were measured, not daily swings.

The study, which was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was published online June 6 in the journal Neurology.

“More research is needed to determine the factors behind this disparity,” Biffi said in a journal news release.

— Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Neurology, news release, June 6, 2018