Hispanics born abroad face lower stroke risk than US-born Hispanics and whites

A new study by HSPH researchers has found that Hispanics born outside of the United States are less likely to have a stroke than U.S.-born Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites.

HSPH doctoral student J. Robin Moon and her colleagues examined a national database of Americans over age 50 to compare stroke incidence in Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites. They found that foreign-born Hispanics had a 42 percent lower stroke risk than non-Hispanic whites with similar socioeconomic backgrounds. They found no significant difference between the risk faced by U.S.-born Hispanics as compared to non-Hispanic whites. The researchers did not do a direct comparison of foreign-born Hispanics compared to U.S.-born Hispanics, but because whites and U.S.-born Hispanics had the same level of stroke risk, they concluded that foreign-born Hispanics are better off than their U.S.-born counterparts.

The study appeared online February 21, 2012, in the journal Stroke. Read the abstract.

Lead author J. Robin Moon, a researcher at HSPH, told Reuters Health that the study’s findings point to stroke as a “lifelong” disease. She added, “to succeed in preventing stroke, we need to examine how the roots of stroke risk are established in childhood.”

Read Reuters Health article