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Some introductory thoughts

When considering populations of individuals who are at special risk for stroke and stroke death, there are numerous complicated and interrelated factors to think about:

  • culture-based (or population-determined) social or lifestyle factors
  • extent of knowledge (and belief) that there are ways to decrease the risk of having a stroke
  • health care disparities: economic and other factors governing access to preventive care and monitoring, as well as to high quality in-hospital acute emergency care and therapy at discharge (longer-term rehabilitation and follow-up care)
  • potential of following medical management plans (economic and social issues, support, etc.)
  • genetic factors or “pathology” especially prevalent in that population

While studies that are now underway attempt to tease apart these variables so that they can be separately identified and addressed, the results to date remain limited. Therefore what we present here about several populations at special risk for stroke is incomplete. However we hope that this information will encourage you to think about some of these issues as you continue learning about stroke and stroke prevention.