Literature Review

Race, ethnicity may influence outcomes after supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage



Among young adults with supratentorial intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), black race and Hispanic ethnicity are associated with better functional outcomes, compared with white race, researchers reported Jan. 22 in Neurology.

“There has been considerable research on stroke in older people, but there is still much to be learned about stroke in younger people and how it affects people of different races and ethnicities,” study author Daniel Woo, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Cincinnati, said in a news release. “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.”

A subset of ERICH participants

To examine predictors of functional outcome in young patients with ICH, researchers analyzed data from a subset of patients in the Ethnic/Racial Variations in Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ERICH) study. ERICH enrolled patients with nontraumatic ICHs at 42 sites in the United States. It included 1,000 non-Hispanic black patients, 1,000 non-Hispanic white patients, and 1,000 Hispanic patients. Participants self-reported race and ethnicity.

Lead author Laura C. Miyares from Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues analyzed data from 418 patients in ERICH who were aged 18-49 years and had supratentorial ICH. The cohort had an average age of 43 years, and 69% were male. In this subset, 41% were black, 12% were white, and 47% were Hispanic.

The primary outcome was modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score 3 months after the ICH, and the investigators defined a poor outcome as a score of 4 or greater. At 3 months, 35% had a poor functional outcome. Approximately 18% were unable to walk without assistance and attend to their bodily needs (mRS 4); 8% were bedridden, incontinent, and required nursing care (mRS 5); and 10% had died (mRS 6).

The percentage of patients with a poor functional outcome was 52% among white patients, 35% among black patients, and 31% among Hispanic patients. In a univariable analysis, black patients had a 51% reduction in odds of a poor outcome, compared with white patients, and Hispanic patients had a 59% reduction.

“The association between race/ethnicity and 3-month post-ICH functional outcome remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, premorbid disability, ICH location, ICH volume, [intraventricular hemorrhage] extension, systolic blood pressure, and [Glasgow Coma Scale] score on admission,” the researchers said. “In multivariable analysis, using white patients as the reference category, black patients had a 58% reduction in the odds of poor functional outcome at 3 months and Hispanic patients had a 66% reduction in the same odds.”

Their analysis identified the importance of other risk factors as well. “The volume of the hematoma, the most powerful predictor of outcome in older patients with ICH, was also found to be the most significant predictor of poor outcome in young patients,” they said.

Vascular risks and oral anticoagulants

About 80% of the young adults with ICH had a history of diagnosed hypertension. In nearly half, the condition was untreated. “After hypertension, the most common stroke risk factors in the young were diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and alcohol abuse,” the authors said. “In combination, these results indicate that vascular risk factors, especially untreated, could explain a large proportion of cases of ICH in the young.”

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