Stroke risk among Mexican Americans could rise dramatically in coming years

Mexican Americans may be at increasing risk for stroke in the coming decades, finds a new study presented at the American Stroke Assn.'s International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles this week.

By 2050, strokes (from bleeding and blood cots) among Mexican Americans could increase by 350%, from 26,000 cases in 2010 to more than 120,000 in 2050. Researchers used data from the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi Project from 2010 to 2008 and information from the U.S. census to predict figures for future years. The BASIC Project is an ongoing Texas study looking at stroke rates among Mexican Americans and non-Latino whites.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that stroke has dropped to fourth place as a leading cause of death, stroke cases among non-Latino whites is predicted to increase from about 300,000 cases in 2010 to more than 500,000 in 2050.

“Efforts to prevent stroke and reduce stroke-related disability in both Mexican-Americans and non-Hispanic whites are critical,” said study co-author Lynda D. Lisabeth, of the University of Michigan, in a news release. “Lifestyle changes can reduce one’s risk for stroke.... Further study of stroke in Mexican-Americans may clarify new intervention targets. Our group is currently targeting stroke prevention through Catholic churches, which might be a novel setting for successful intervention in Mexican-Americans.”