Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

NYU Professor Authors Paper on Critical Public Health Issue – Stroke

Stroke is a critical public health issue in the United States and globally, responsible for approximately 6.7 million deaths each year, with more than 85 percent occurring in low and middle income countries. Cardiovascular disease mortality among Alaska Native (AN) people has historically been lower than non-Native Alaskans, however; a recent transition to western diet and a sedentary lifestyle has increased the prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors. While stroke mortality rates among non-Native Alaskans have fallen, rates among AN populations remain stable. These trends suggest the need for stroke incidence studies among AN populations

To address this issue, senior associate dean of Research and Program Development at New York University’s College of Global Public Health, Dr. Bernadette Boden-Albala, wrote the article, Ascertainment of Alaska Native Stroke Incidence, 2005-2009: Lessons for Assessing the Global Burden of Stroke.

The article provides an example of methodology for assessing the population-wide burden of stroke as applied to the unique geographic and sociocultural environments of a culturally distinct set of AN groups.

Results of this study show:

  1. Between October 2005 and October 2009, over 2100 alerts were screened identifying 514 unique stroke cases, of which 372 were incident strokes.
  2. The average annual incidence of stroke (per 100,000) among AN adults was 190.6: 219.2 in men and 164.7 in women. Overall, the ischemic stroke incidence rate was 148.5 per 100,000 with men (184.6) having higher ischemic rates per 100,000 than women (118.3).
  3. Men have higher rates of ischemic stroke at all ages, whereas older women experienced higher rates of hemorrhagic strokes over the age of 75 years.

The article suggests that integration of registries into existing health systems may prove to be a successful and feasible strategy for estimating stroke incidence, particularly in systems with universal access to health care. It concluded that there is a high rate of overall stroke, 190.6 per 100,000. Lastly, the ANSR methods and findings have implications for other indigenous populations and for global health populations currently undergoing similar epidemiological transitions.

To access the article on PubMed, click on: