It is unclear whether disparities in mortality among stroke survivors exist long term. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to describe rates of longer term mortality among stroke survivors (ie, beyond 30 days) and to determine whether socioeconomic disparities exist. Drs. George and Virginia Howard, PI and Co-PI respectively of the REGARDS Study, both from UAB’s School of Public Health, collaborated with other colleagues in this study. This analysis included 1329 black and white participants, aged ≥45 years, enrolled between 2003 and 2007 in the REGARDS study (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) who suffered a first stroke and survived at least 30 days after the event.

Long-term mortality among stroke survivors was defined in person-years as time from 30 days after a first stroke to date of death or censoring. Mortality rate ratios (MRRs) were used to compare rates of poststroke mortality by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Among adults who survived ≥30 days poststroke, the age-adjusted rate of mortality was 82.3 per 1000 person-years (95% CI, 75.4–89.2). Long-term mortality among stroke survivors was higher in older individuals and among men than women). There were no differences in age-adjusted rates of long-term poststroke mortality by race, rurality, or US region. Rates of long-term mortality among stroke survivors were higher among individuals with lower SES and among those residing in neighborhoods of lower SES. These results emphasize the need for improvements in long-term care poststroke, especially among individuals of lower SES.

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