HealthDay News — The difference in age-adjusted stroke death rates (AASDRs) between Black and White adults was higher during the pandemic than during the prepandemic period, according to research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Quanhe Yang, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined disparities in stroke mortality between Black and White adults before and during the COVID-19 pandemic using National Vital Statistics System mortality data. AASDRs were calculated for adults aged 35 years and older prepandemic (2015 to 2019) and during the pandemic (2020 to 2021).

The researchers found that the absolute difference in AASDR between Black and White adults was 21.7% higher during the pandemic compared with during the prepandemic period (38.0 vs 31.3 per 100,000). An estimated 3835 excess stroke deaths occurred among Black adults and 15,125 occurred among White adults during the pandemic period (9.4% and 6.9% more than expected, respectively).


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“The COVID-19 pandemic imposed setbacks to progress made in reducing disparities in stroke mortality between Black and White adults,” the authors write. “Identifying factors associated with these widened disparities, implementing prevention efforts, including the management and control of stroke risk factors, preventing disparities in treatment and services for long term sequelae of stroke, and tailoring interventions to advance health equity are needed to reduce disparities in stroke mortality.”

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