A new study suggests that routine medical care and lifestyle coaching can help reduce stroke risk disparities between Black and white Americans.
Black individuals are 50 percent more likely to have a stroke compared to their white counterparts, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.
Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis and found that aggressive management of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes, along with a lifestyle modification program to manage weight and increase physical activity, successfully reduced some stroke risk factors and narrowed the gap in outcomes between racial groups.
Before the intervention, there were significant differences in stroke risk factors between Black and non-Black adults who had previously experienced a stroke.
However, after one year of intensive medical intervention and lifestyle coaching, some of these risk factors were no longer present, suggesting that this type of risk factor management could play a crucial role in improving or eliminating disparities in vascular risk factors for secondary stroke prevention.
Black Americans have a higher prevalence of stroke and the highest death rate from stroke among all racial groups. They also have a higher risk of developing stroke-related risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Factors contributing to these disparities include genetics, lifestyle, and social determinants of health.
The study used health data from a group of stroke survivors who received aggressive medical management and lifestyle modification.
At the end of the intervention, there was no difference in blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, or activity metrics between Black and non-Black patients.
The study suggests that structured and personalized care could help improve health disparities and reduce stroke risk in vulnerable populations.
In the real world, practical use of this approach would involve regular medical follow-ups, lifestyle modification programs, and tools to lower stroke risk in those most affected.
The implementation and reimbursement of the management plan to reduce and eliminate disparities in stroke risk between racial groups should be prioritized to ensure effective stroke care for all patients, regardless of their background.