Stroke incidence and mortality are disproportionately higher among African Americans than among whites.Objective:
To describe the recurrent stroke characteristics and determine the predictability of known vascular risk factors for stroke recurrence in African Americans.Methods:
The authors followed 1,809 African Americans in the African-American Antiplatelet Stroke Prevention Study with recent noncardioembolic ischemic stroke for recurrent stroke, recurrent stroke subtype, and disability.Results:
Of the subjects, 10.6% experienced a recurrent stroke during follow-up. The mean interval between eligibility and recurrent stroke was 325 days (median 287 days, SD = 224 days). Stroke recurrence resulted in an average 1.5-point increase in the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (p < 0.001) and a 3.5-point decrease in modified Barthel Index (p < 0.001). Of previously nondisabled subjects, 48% became disabled or died after stroke recurrence (p < 0.0001). Longitudinal analysis resulted in a hazard for recurrent stroke for each 10-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure of 1.103 (95% CI: 1.031 to 1.179, p = 0.004), pulse pressure 1.123 (95% CI: 1.041 to 1.213, p = 0.003), and mean arterial pressure 1.123 (95% CI: 1.001 to 1.260, p = 0.048). Multivariate analysis revealed increases in the recurrent stroke hazard for increases in baseline Glasgow Outcome Score (1.449, 95% CI: 1.071 to 1.961, p = 0.016) and increases in longitudinal pulse pressure (1.009, 95% CI: 1.001 to 1.017, p = 0.029).Conclusion:
Recurrent stroke leads to disability and disability predicts recurrent stroke. Hypertension is the most predictive modifiable stroke risk factor.