Background: Little data exist on stroke burden in Mexican-American (MA) women. The objective of this study was to characterize the burden of stroke in MA and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women and to compare this burden across ethnic groups.
Methods: Cases of ischemic stroke and intracerebral hemorrhage among women (January 2000-December 2006) were identified as part of the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project, a stroke surveillance study in a biethnic Texas community. Cumulative incidence of stroke among women was compared by ethnicity and age. Logistic regression was used to compare risk factors and age-adjusted use of antihypertensives between MA and NHW female stroke cases.
Results: MA women had elevated stroke risk compared with NHW women at younger ages (ages 45-59: relative risk (RR) = 2.00 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.54-2.58); ages 60-74: RR = 1.57 (95% CI: 1.31-1.87); ages > or =75: RR = 1.13 (95% CI: 0.98-1.29)). Stroke severity and stroke type did not differ between ethnic groups. MA female stroke cases were more likely to have hypertension (odds ratio (OR) = 1.41 (95% CI: 1.11-1.80)), diabetes (OR = 3.54 (95% CI: 2.82-4.45)), and the presence of both risk factors (OR = 3.31 (95% CI: 2.61-4.21)) compared with NHW female stroke cases and were more likely to report use of antihypertensives (OR = 1.51 (95% CI: 1.10-2.06)). There was a trend toward greater hypertension awareness among MA female stroke cases (OR = 1.37 (95% CI: 0.98-1.91)).
Conclusions: MA women have increased risk of stroke at younger ages compared with NHW women. Reasons for this ethnic disparity, including an increased prevalence of hypertension and diabetes, should be explored.