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Cocaine use, hypertension major risk factors for brain hemorrhage in young African Americans, study finds

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Young African Americans who use cocaine are six times more likely to suffer a potentially lethal episode of bleeding inside the brain than non-users, a case-control study of major risk factors for intracerebral hemorrhage in this population conducted by researchers at the University of Buffalo and Emory University has found.

The study, published in the July issue of Ethnicity and Disease, also shows twice the incidence of hypertension and five times the number of people with hypertension who weren't taking their blood-pressure medicine among those who had had an intracerebral hemorrhage, compared to healthy, age-matched controls. Alcohol use also was associated with an increase in risk.

"African-American patients experience a two-fold higher risk of intracerebral hemorrhage compared to white patients," said Adnan I. Qureshi, UB assistant professor of neurosurgery and lead author on the study. "This high incidence of intracerebral hemorrhage contributes significantly to death, disability and loss of productivity in young populations.

"In the absence of any definitive treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage, significant stress needs to be placed on primary prevention and understanding of factors that predispose to a higher risk in young African Americans," he said.

Internal bleeding, also known as intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), can occur in any part of the brain. Blood may accumulate in the tissues as well as in the space between the brain and the membranes covering the brain, a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Bleeding may be isolated in a part of one cerebral hemisphere (lobar intracerebral hemorrhage) or occur in other brain structures, such as the thalamus, basal ganglia, pons, or cerebellum (deep intracerebral hemorrhage).

ICH occurs in about 20 out of 100,000 people, statistics show, and can affect any person regardless of age, sex or race, but appears to occur more frequently in African Americans, striking
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Contact: Lois Baker
ljbaker@buffalo.edu
716-645-5000 x 1417
University at Buffalo
8-Jul-2001


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