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Black patient stroke predictors identified

Black patient stroke predictors identified
30th April 2009

Atrial fibrillation (AF) predictors may offer physicians a much easier way to prevent the chance of having a stroke in black people, according to a new study by an American institution.

According to the study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, AF is a rapid and irregular heart rate which can cause poor flow of blood to the rest of the body, with heart palpitations and shortness of breath being associated with the condition.

However, Black patients with AF are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than their Caucasian counterparts, while the chance of dying from them is doubled.

Despite this, many patients are unaware they have the condition, highlighting the need for self-diagnosis using electrocardiograms (ECGs), researchers added.

Lead author Elsayed Z Soliman stated: "Trying to detect AF using an ECG, or simply counting on patients to know if they have it, leads to under-diagnosis of the condition most of the time. Our research suggests that being proactive in predicting it may be a better approach."

This month, the Journal of Neuroscience revealed that a set of visual exercises on a computer every day for several months is able to restore some sight in stroke patients who went partially blind as a result of their condition.

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