After a hemorrhagic stroke, often called a "bleeding" stroke, young black and Hispanic people are less likely than white people to be disabled or die within the following three months, a new study finds.
Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures, causing bleeding in the brain. This type of stroke is less common than ones caused by blood clots, but harder to treat and more often fatal.
"Our study found that even when you account for factors that affect outcomes -- such as how big the stroke is -- race and ethnicity were still independent predictors of how well people would recover," said lead author Dr. Daniel Woo. He's associate director of University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Research in Ohio.
For the study, Woo's team collected data on 418 people, average age 43, who had a bleeding stroke.
Patients were divided into two groups. Those in the first group had no symptoms or had moderate disability but could walk without assistance.
Those in the second group -- the "poor outcome" group -- had more severe disability and couldn't walk without help, or had died.
The study found that 52 percent of white patients had poor outcomes after their stroke, compared with 35 percent of black patients and 31 percent of Hispanics.
Compared with white patients, black patients had a 58 percent lower risk of a poor outcome and Hispanic patients had a 66 percent lower risk, the findings showed.
"We examined both the initial size and the expansion of the bleeding in the brain for each participant when they were hospitalized, but were not able to find significant evidence that these factors contributed to how well they were doing three months later," Woo said.
So, he added, the findings might indicate that the differences are driven by biological, social and treatment factors related to the risk of a bleeding stroke, rather than differences in early steps after admission to the hospital.
The report was published online Jan. 22 in the journal Neurology.
For more on bleeding strokes, visit the American Stroke Association.
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