Importance: Stroke incidence is higher among black than white individuals in the United States. It is unclear whether black individuals have a higher risk of stroke recurrence after a minor ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), a high-risk setting in which focused preventive efforts can be effective.
Objective: To examine the association between black race and early ischemic stroke recurrence.
Design, setting, and participants: This cohort study analyzed data from the Platelet Oriented Inhibition in New TIA and Minor Ischemic Stroke (POINT) trial conducted at 269 sites from May 28, 2010, to December 19, 2017. The trial enrolled 4881 adults within 12 hours of onset of a minor ischemic stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, 0-3) or high-risk TIA (ABCD2 score, ≥4). For this analysis, we excluded 598 patients enrolled outside the United States and 239 US patients with missing race/ethnicity data.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome for this analysis was ischemic stroke within 90 days after randomization. Covariates included age, sex, Hispanic ethnicity, study assignment to take clopidogrel vs placebo, index stroke vs TIA, vascular risk factors, statin use, study drug adherence, and index event etiological subtype.
Results: Among 4044 patients included in the analysis, 918 (22.7%) were black. In an adjusted Cox model, black race was associated with a higher risk of recurrence compared with white race (hazard ratio, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.1-2.3). Findings were similar in subgroup analyses and in analyses limited to sites that enrolled black patients.
Conclusions and relevance: Among US participants in the POINT trial, black individuals faced a higher risk of early stroke recurrence after a minor ischemic stroke or TIA. Our findings support research into black-white racial differences in the underlying mechanisms of recurrent stroke. In the meantime, extra effort should be made to ensure that black patients have access to proven secondary prevention measures.
Trial registration: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00991029.