Stroke Rate Is 4-Times Higher Among Black Adults

Stroke is 4 times as common in Black middle-aged adults than in White middle-aged adults, according to the results of a recent study.1

The researchers conducted their study using data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study, which began in 1985 and involved 5115 Black and White adults aged 18 to 30 years. Blood pressure was measured every 5 years, as well as during year 2 and year 7.

For the current study, the researchers followed 5079 participants from 1990 through 2018, 100 of whom had experienced a stroke by 2018. Overall, the incidence rate for stroke was 29 per 100,000 person-years for White adults and 120 per 100,000 person-years for Black adults.

Further, compared with normal blood pressure, stage 2 hypertension was associated with an increased risk of stroke at baseline (hazard ratio [HR] 3.72 [95% CI 2.12–6.54]), as a time-dependent variable (HR 5.84 [95% CI 3.43–9.95]), at age 30 (HR 4.14 [95% CI 2.19–7.82]) and at age 40 (HR 5.59 [95% CI 3.35–9.31]).

“We demonstrated that the association of high blood pressure with stroke varies with age, strengthening from young adulthood to midlife,” said Dr. Gerber. “The association was also dynamic, with the most recent measurement most strongly associated with subsequent stroke risk. This stresses the need for early public health interventions to maintain optimal blood pressure levels in young adulthood, particularly in high-risk Black young adults,” the researchers said in an accompanying press release.2

—Michael Potts


  1. Gerber Y, Rana JS, Jacobs DR, et al. Blood pressure levels in young adulthood and midlife stroke incidence in a diverse cohort. Published online March 29, 2021. Hypertension.
  2. Stroke rate four times higher in Black young and middle-aged adults, compared to whites. News release. Kaiser Permanente. Oakland, California. March 29, 2021.