Addressing stroke risk factors in Black and White Americans: Findings from the national health and nutrition examination survey, 2009-2010

Karen C. Albright, Amelia K. Boehme, Rikki M. Tanner, Justin Blackburn, George Howard, Virginia J. Howard, Monika Safford, T. Mark Beasley, Nita Limdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Recurrent stroke affects 5%-15% of stroke survivors, is higher among Blacks, and preventable with secondary stroke prevention medications. Our study aimed to examine racial differences in risk factors being addressed (defined as either on active treatment or within guideline levels) among stroke survivors and those at risk for stroke. Methods: A cross-sectional study using NHANES 2009-2010 standardized interviews of Whites and Blacks aged ≥18 years. Risk factors were defined as being addressed if: 1) for hypertension, SBP <140, DBP <90 (SBP<130, DBP<80 for diabetics) or using BP-lowering medications; 2) for current smoking, using cessation medications; and 3) for hyperlipidemia, LDL<100 (LDL<70 for stroke survivors) or using lipid-lowering medications. Participants were stratified by stroke history. Prevalence of addressed risk factors was compared by race. Results: Among 4005 participants (mean age 48, 52% women, 15% Black), 4% reported a history of stroke. Among stroke survivors, there were no statistically significant differences in Blacks and Whites having their hypertension or hyperlipidemia addressed. Among stroke naïve participants, the prevalence of addressed hypertension (P<.01) and hyperlipidemia (P<.01) was lower in Blacks compared with Whites. Conclusions: We found that addressed hypertension and hyperlipidemia in stroke naïve participants were significantly lower in Blacks than Whites. Our observations call attention to areas that require further investigation, such as why Black Americans may not be receiving evidence-based pharmacologic therapy for hypertension and hyperlipidemia or why Black Americans are not at goal blood pressure or goal LDL. A better understanding of this information is critical to preventing stroke and other vascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • African Americans
  • Cerebral Infarction
  • Disparities
  • Primary Prevention
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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