BACKGROUND The United States (US)-Mexico border is a socioeconomically underserved area. We sought to investigate whether stroke-related mortality varies between the US border and nonborder counties. METHODS AND RESULTS We used death certificates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database to examine stroke-related mortality in border versus nonborder counties in California, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. We measured average annual percent changes (AAPCs) in age-adjusted mortality rates (AAMRs) per 100 000 between 1999 and 2018. Overall, AAMRs were higher for nonborder counties, older adults, men, and non-Hispanic Black adults than their counterparts. Between 1999 and 2018, AAMRs reduced from 55.8 per 100 000 to 34.4 per 100 000 in the border counties (AAPC, -2.70) and 64.5 per 100 000 to 37.6 per 100 000 in nonborder counties (AAPC, -2.92). The annual percent change in AAMR initially decreased, followed by stagnation in both border and nonborder counties since 2012. The AAPC in AAMR decreased in all 4 states; however, AAMR increased in California's border counties since 2012 (annual percent change, 3.9). The annual percent change in AAMR decreased for older adults between 1999 and 2012 for the border (-5.10) and nonborder counties (-5.01), followed by a rise in border counties and stalling in nonborder counties. Although the AAPC in AAMR decreased for both sexes, the AAPC in AAMR differed significantly for non-Hispanic White adults in border (-2.69) and nonborder counties (-2.86). The mortality decreased consistently for all other ethnicities/races in both border and nonborder counties. CONCLUSIONS Stroke-related mortality varied between the border and nonborder counties. Given the substantial public health implications, targeted interventions aimed at vulnerable populations are required to improve stroke-related outcomes in the US-Mexico border area.
Keywords: US–Mexico border; epidemiology; mortality; stroke.