Neighborhood differences in post-stroke mortality

Theresa L. Osypuk, Amy Ehntholt, J. Robin Moon, Paola Gilsanz, M. Maria Glymour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background - Post-stroke mortality is higher among residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, but it is not known whether neighborhood inequalities are specific to stroke survival or similar to mortality patterns in the general population. We hypothesized that neighborhood disadvantage would predict higher poststroke mortality, and neighborhood effects would be relatively larger for stroke patients than for individuals with no history of stroke. Methods and Results - Health and Retirement Study participants aged ≥50 years without stroke at baseline (n=15 560) were followed ≤12 years for incident stroke (1715 events over 159 286 person-years) and mortality (5325 deaths). Baseline neighborhood characteristics included objective measures based on census tracts (family income, poverty, deprivation, residential stability, and percent white, black, or foreign-born) and self-reported neighborhood social ties. Using Cox proportional hazard models, we compared neighborhood mortality effects for people with versus people without a history of stroke. Most neighborhood variables predicted mortality for both stroke patients and the general population in demographic-adjusted models. Neighborhood percent white predicted lower mortality for stroke survivors (hazard ratio, 0.75 for neighborhoods in highest 25th percentile versus below, 95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.91) more strongly than for stroke-free adults (hazard ratio, 0.92; 95% confidence interval, 0.83-1.02; P=0.04 for stroke-by-neighborhood interaction). No other neighborhood characteristic had different effects for people with versus without stroke. Neighborhood-mortality associations emerged within 3 months after stroke, when associations were often stronger than among stroke-free individuals. Conclusions - Neighborhood characteristics predict mortality, but most effects are similar for individuals without stroke. Eliminating disparities in stroke survival may require addressing pathways that are not specific to traditional poststroke care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere002547
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr Osypuk was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants R01MD006064, R03HD080848, R21HD066312. Dr Glymour was supported by the American Heart Association 10SDG2640243 and National Institute on Aging R21AG34385. Dr Gilsanz was supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute F31HL112613, and the National Institute on Aging T32AG049663. A. Ehntholt was supported by the American Heart Association 10SDG2640243.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • community
  • mortality
  • neighborhood
  • social support
  • socioeconomic factors
  • stroke

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