Obesity among African-American stroke survivors increases risk factors for recurrent stroke

CHICAGO Obesity may put African-Americans who have survived one stroke at risk for a second stroke by increasing their risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes and high cholesterol, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Obesity has become epidemic in the United States and African-Americans have the highest rate of obesity, nearly 40 percent, as reported in the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES), according to background information in the article. Obesity is associated with a number of negative health consequences, including insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol levels or other lipid level problems), stroke, coronary artery disease and decreased life expectancy.

Sean Ruland, D.O., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from African-American patients enrolled in a study of treatment for prevention of stroke recurrence (the African-American Antiplatelet Stroke Prevention Study [AAASPS]) to determine the association between obesity and cardiovascular risk factor profiles for African-American stroke survivors. Using baseline data on height and weight, the researchers determined the body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) for 1,711 patients. The patients were divided into six groups, underweight (BMI less than 18.5), normal weight (BMI 18.5 24.9), overweight ((BMI 25.0 29.9), class one obesity (BMI 30.0 34.9), class two obesity (BMI 35.0 39.9) and class three obesity (BMI greater than 40.0).

The researchers compared patients' BMI with the cardiovascular risk factors, hypertension (HTN), diabetes mellitus (DM) and dyslipidemia (DL). Overall, 76 percent of the patients (70 percent of men and 81 percent of women) were overweight or obese. Nearly 20 percent of women younger than 55 years and 7.0 percent of men i

Contact: Sharon Butler
JAMA and Archives Journals

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