January 1, 2017

Ethnic Comparison of Clinical Characteristics and Ischemic Stroke Subtypes Among Young Adult Patients With Stroke in Hawaii

Kazuma Nakagawa, MD; Cherisse S. Ito, BSN; Sage L. King, MPH


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:  Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders (NHOPI) with ischemic stroke have younger age of stroke onset compared with whites. However, ethnic differences in stroke subtypes in this population have been inadequately studied.

METHODS:  Consecutive young adult patients (aged ≤55 years) who were hospitalized for ischemic stroke between 2006 and 2012 at a tertiary center in Honolulu were studied. Clinical characteristics and stroke subtypes based on pathophysiological TOAST classification (Trial of Org 10172) of NHOPI and Asians were compared with whites.

RESULTS:  A total of 427 consecutive young adult (mean age, 46.7±7.8 years) patients (NHOPI 45%, Asians 38%, and whites 17%) were studied. NHOPI had a higher prevalence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, prosthetic valve, higher body mass index, hemoglobin A1c, and lower high-density lipoprotein than whites (all P<0.05). Stroke subtype distribution was not different between the ethnic groups. Specifically, the prevalence of small-vessel disease was similar between NHOPI (26.6%), whites (28.4%), and Asians (24.8%). In the univariate analyses, the use of intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator was lower among NHOPI (4.7%; P=0.01) and Asians (3.1%; P=0.002) than among whites (12.5%). In the multivariable model, NHOPI (odds ratio, 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.12-0.98) and Asians (odds ratio, 0.23; 95% confidence interval, 0.07-0.74) were less likely to be treated with intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator than whites.

CONCLUSIONS:  NHOPI have greater cardiovascular risk factors than whites, but there were no differences in stroke subtypes between the ethnic groups. Furthermore, NHOPI and Asians may be less likely to be treated with intravenous tissue-type plasminogen activator than whites.

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