Black/Hispanic Disparities in a Vulnerable Post-Stroke Home Care Population

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2019 Jun;6(3):525-535. doi: 10.1007/s40615-018-00551-y. Epub 2018 Dec 17.


Significant racial and ethnic disparities in stroke risk factors, occurrence, and outcomes persist in the USA. This article examines socio-economic and health disparities in a diverse, hypertensive sample of 495 post-stroke Black, non-Hispanic and Hispanic home health patients at risk of a recurrent stroke due to elevated systolic blood pressure (SBP), defined as SBP > 140 mmHg. The article, which analyzes cross-sectional data, focuses on correlates of patients' SBP-the leading modifiable cause of stroke-and physical function-a key stroke sequela and indicator of post-stroke quality of life. Of the 495 participants, 69.7% were Black, non-Hispanic, and 30.3% Hispanic. Black participants had significantly higher mean SBP than Hispanics. After controlling for multiple potential confounders/predictors, being Black was associated with a 3.55 mmHg elevation in SBP relative to being Hispanic. There were no significant Black/Hispanic differences in physical function measures. Seven independent variables significantly predicted better physical function: being male, younger, having fewer comorbidities, lower BMI, fewer depressive symptoms, higher health literacy, and current alcohol drinking (vs. abstinence). Our data provide a unique comparison of homebound Black and Hispanic stroke survivors at heightened risk of recurrent stroke absent targeted intervention. The finding of a significant Black/Hispanic disparity in SBP is striking in this narrowly defined home health care population all of whom are at risk for recurrent stroke. Priority should be given to culturally tailored interventions designed to link vulnerable home care patients to continuous, responsive hypertension care.

Keywords: Home health care; Outcomes; Racial/ethnic disparities; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data*
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / methods*
  • Stroke Rehabilitation / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Vulnerable Populations