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Minorities at greater risk of stroke

April Is
National Minority Health Month

You can’t control certain risk factors for stroke, such as genetics or family history. Here’s a glance at the incidence of stroke in different minority groups.

African-Americans | American Indians and Alaska Natives | Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders | Hispanic Americans | Asian-Americans | Women


  • The rate of first stroke in African-Americans is almost double the rate in Caucasians.
  • African-Americans are twice as likely to die from stroke than their Caucasian counterparts are.
  • African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living than their non-Hispanic Caucasian counterparts are.


American Indians and Alaska Natives

  • American Indians and Alaska native adults are 2.4 times more likely to have a stroke than their Caucasian adult counterparts are.
  • In general, American Indian and Alaska native adults are more likely to be obese than Caucasian adults are and more likely to have high blood pressure, as compared with Caucasian adults.

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders

  • Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were four times more likely than non-Hispanic Caucasian adults were to die from a stroke in 2010.
  • In general, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults have developed several of the high risk factors which can lead to heart attacks and stroke, such as obesity, hypertension and cigarette smoking.
  • Cerebrovascular disease can be more prevalent in some U.S. island territories. For example, the death rate from stroke is three times higher in American Samoa than it is in the U.S. national non-Hispanic Caucasian population.

Hispanic Americans

  • Hispanics in the U.S. are more likely to suffer a stroke at a younger age than Caucasians are.
  • Stroke and heart disease account for one in four deaths among Hispanic men and one in three deaths among Hispanic women.
  • As a group, Hispanics are showing the greatest proportion of hypertension. Diabetes and obesity are also more prevalent in this population than in their Caucasian counterparts.


  • Overall, Asian-American adults are less likely than Caucasian adults are to die from a stroke.
  • In general, Asian-American adults have lower rates of being overweight or obese and lower rates of hypertension than all other racial groups.
  • Asian-Americans are less likely to be current cigarette smokers.


  • Stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer does every year.
  • 425,000 women suffer from a stroke each year—55,000 more than men.
  • African-American women suffer a significantly higher number of strokes than Caucasian women do.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of death for Hispanic women.

If you’re in one of these at-risk populations, be sure to know the controllable risk factors for stroke.

Meet Our Ambassadors

Photo of Pamela and Diana

Pamela and Diana

Pamela and Diana are raising awareness about stroke in the African-American population.

» Read Pamela's story.

» Read Diana's story.

Representative Beatty photo

Rep. Joyce Beatty (OHIO)

Rep. Beatty is passionate about raising awareness about stroke, treatment and research.

» Read Rep. Beatty's story.


Watch Pamela and Diana’s video and learn why raising awareness about stroke is important to them.

» Read about African-Americans and stroke

» Read about Hispanic Americans and stroke

» Read about women and stroke


Faces of Stroke campaign is supported by funding provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Allergan, Inc., Medtronic, Inc., Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., and Genentech Inc.

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