The ethnic group have a "distinctive pathophysiologic profile" linked to ischemic stroke

According to research, Asian Americans are more likely to experience a severe ischemic stroke that whites.

Eureka Alert reports that research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018 suggests that Asian Americans are more likely to suffer from a stroke than white people.

Researchers reviewed the clinical and functional outcomes of more than 1.77 million ischemic stroke patients, with 3.6% being Asian American and 96.4% being white.

“Asian Americans may have a distinctive pathophysiologic profile of ischemic stroke than whites,” said Sarah Song, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., study author and assistant professor of cerebrovascular disease in the Department of Neurology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. “Regardless, this study highlights the need for more focused research, improved stroke prevention and possibly different treatment strategies for Asian Americans.”

Asian Americans also suffered from “poorer functional recovery; receiving the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) less frequently, which can improve the chances of recovering from a stroke; andmore serious and bleeding complications with tPA, despite receiving it quickly.”

However Song also found that stroke care for both Asian Americans and whites have improved. “Looking from 2004 to 2016, our study shows that overall, patients with acute ischemic stroke are recovering more, and they are receiving more IV tPA, with less complications and better post-stroke care. This likely has to do with an overall improvement in stroke quality and highly effective stroke systems of care.

“However, Asian Americans and whites had nuanced differences over time; for example, only whites had a decrease in trend in stroke severity, while Asian Americans had a greater increase in timely IV tPA administration.”

Barriers in care, education and research has resulted in limited attention being given to stroke care for Asian Americans. Different ethnicities within the Asian American community also suffered in different ways.

Song said, “even among Asian Americans, the various minority populations differ in so many ways. Vietnamese people are not the same as Korean, who are not the same as Japanese or South Asian groups. Aside from differences in language, differences in stroke risk factors, diet and lifestyle, and other cultural factors, make compiling all Asian-American groups into one single group problematic.”

Nonetheless, Song sees the positive in this study, describing it as a “very good first step”. She added, “this information gives us the urgency and the credibility to do more research in Asian Americans, who have historically been understudied in the stroke and cardiovascular literature.”