Stroke Incidence in Older US Hispanics
Is Foreign Birth Protective?
Background and Purpose—Although Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, relatively little is known about stroke risk in US Hispanics. We compare stroke incidence and socioeconomic predictors in US- and foreign-born Hispanics with patterns among non-Hispanic whites.
Methods—Health and Retirement Study participants aged 50+ years free of stroke in 1998 (mean baseline age, 66.3 years) were followed through 2008 for self- or proxy-reported first stroke (n=15 784; 1388 events). We used discrete-time survival analysis to compare stroke incidence among US-born (including those who immigrated before age 7 years) and foreign-born Hispanics with incidence in non-Hispanic whites. We also examined childhood and adult socioeconomic characteristics as predictors of stroke among Hispanics, comparing effect estimates with those for non-Hispanic whites.
Results—In age- and sex-adjusted models, US-born Hispanics had higher odds of stroke onset than non-Hispanic whites (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.08–1.90), but these differences were attenuated and nonsignificant in models that controlled for childhood and adulthood socioeconomic factors (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.80–1.42). In contrast, in models adjusted for all demographic and socioeconomic factors, foreign-born Hispanics had significantly lower stroke risk than non-Hispanic whites (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.41–0.81). The impact of socioeconomic predictors on stroke did not differ between Hispanics and whites.
Conclusions—In this longitudinal national cohort, foreign-born Hispanics had lower incidence of stroke incidence than non-Hispanic whites and US-born Hispanics. Findings suggest that foreign-born Hispanics may have a risk factor profile that protects them from stroke as compared with other Americans.
- Received November 1, 2011.
- Revision received January 18, 2012.
- Accepted January 24, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.