African Americans and Stroke
- Stroke deaths are twice as likely for African Americans than for Caucasians. African Americans are twice as likely to die from stroke as Caucasians.
- The rate of first strokes in African Americans almost doubles that of Caucasians.
- Compared with Caucasian males 45 to 54 years old, African American males in the same age group have a threefold greater risk of ischemic stroke.
- Not all of the reasons are clear but some factors include a higher rate of the following:
- High blood pressure- this is the number one risk factor for stroke and 1 in 3 African Americans suffer from high blood pressure.
- Diabetes- people with diabetes have a higher stroke risk.
- Sickle cell anemia- this is a genetic disorder that mainly affects African Americans.
- “Sickle” red blood cells are less able to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and organs and tend to stick to blood vessel walls. This can block arteries to the brain and cause a stroke.
- Obesity- African Americans have a higher incidence of obesity than Caucasians.
- Smoking- African Americans also have a higher incidence of smoking than Caucasians
Women and Stroke
- A women’s risk of stroke doubles if someone in her immediate family (mother, father, sister, or bother has had a stroke)
- Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer every year.
- A majority of women mistakenly believe that they have a higher risk for cancer than stroke.
- Women face particular stroke risks related to hormonal changes. The most notable of these risk factors are pregnancy, childbirth and menopause.
- More than 30% of strokes occur in women before the age of 65.
- More than 100,000 women died from stroke last year.
- While less than half of stroke victims will be women (43%), more women than men die from stroke (62%).
- Studies have shown that women take 46% longer than men to get to the emergency room after stroke symptoms occur.
- Women do not always experience classic symptoms.
- Women significantly outnumber men as caregivers to stroke survivors (59% – 75%).
- The average caregiver is a married 46-year old working woman earning $36,000 per year.
There are stroke symptoms that are unique to women. If you experience the sudden onset of the following symptoms suddenly, seek medical attention immediately:
- Pain the face and arm or leg
- Chest pain
- Racing heartbeat
- Shortness of breath/trouble breathing
Children and Stroke
- Even though stroke is considered an older person’s disease, stroke is a potential risk for everyone, including children.
- The risk of stoke increases with age. The risk is highest during the last few months of fetal life and the first few weeks after birth.
- The effects of stroke in a child are generally the same as in an adult, but very young children with stroke are more likely than adults to experience seizures, breathing problems and loss of consciousness.
- If you think your child may be having a stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Known Risk Factors for Young Children Include:
- Head trauma
- Infection within the skull (intracranial infection)
- Inborn (congenital) abnormalities that affect the heart and blood vessels, including tuberous sclerosis
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia
Recovery after stroke in the very young is hard to predict. Generally, outcomes are worse in children less than a year old and in children who have a seizure during a stroke. Fortunately, the developing brain has a remarkable capacity to fix damaged connections between cells and replace lost nerve cells. Most children who experience a stroke will do better than adults after treatment and rehabilitation. A child with serious complications immediately after a stroke can make an impressive recovery.
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