Racial-ethnic differences in stroke risk factors and subtypes: results of a prospective hospital-based registry

Int J Neurosci. 2013 Aug;123(8):568-74. doi: 10.3109/00207454.2013.783030. Epub 2013 Apr 26.


A majority of stroke research in the United States focuses on Caucasian and African-American populations, limiting the amount of comparative stroke data available on other racial and ethnic groups. The purpose of this research was to examine differences in stroke risk factors/subtypes between minority stroke patient groups in the United States (Asian-Indian, African-American, and Hispanic), using a Caucasian reference group. All patients had a comprehensive stroke work-up to ascertain their stroke risk factors and their stroke etiology applying TOAST criteria. Minority groups were younger compared with the white stroke patients, with the mean age significantly lower in the Asian-Indian and the Hispanic groups. The male:female ratio favored males in the Asian-Indian and Hispanic subgroups and females in the Caucasian and African-American groups. Diabetes was more prevalent in the minority subgroups, with a highest prevalence (55%) noted in the Asian-Indian group. The minority groups had lower prevalence of atrial fibrillation, carotid stenosis (≥70%), CAD, PVD, smoking, and alcohol use. The Asian-Indian stroke group had a higher median fasting plasma homocysteine level compared with the reference white group (12.1 vs. 10.4, p = 0.002). Compared to the reference white stroke group, the Asian-Indian stroke group had fewer strokes related to cardioembolism (7% vs. 25%) and a higher number of strokes related to small vessel occlusive disease (25% vs. 11%). There are some similarities in the stroke risk factors between the minority stroke groups, but the data indicate that there are different trends in stroke risk factors and subtypes.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Ethnic Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Homocysteine / blood
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Stroke / blood
  • Stroke / diagnosis*
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Homocysteine