Symposium to focus on reducing race-ethnic disparities in cerebrovascular disease

Since the 1960s, we’ve known the risk of stroke varies by race and ethnicity, especially between African Americans and non-Hispanic whites and Latinos.

Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, FAHA

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that the risk of a first stroke is nearly twice as high for black people compared to whites, and blacks have the highest rate of death due to stroke. Moreover, although stroke death rates have declined among all races and ethnicities, Hispanics have seen an increase in death rates since 2013.

Research shows that blacks and Hispanics with stroke are less likely, compared to whites, to receive treatments proven to improve quality of life and reduce death.


Pre-Conference Symposium III:
HEADS-UP: Health Equity and Actionable Disparities in Stroke: Understanding and Problem-Solving
8:30 a.m.-5:45 p.m.
Petree Hall D

“While the disparities have existed for a while, and some can be explained by differences in the severity of stroke risk factors, at least one third of the differences between African Americans and whites in terms of the mortality from stroke cannot be explained,” said Bruce Ovbiagele, MD, MSc, FAHA, associate dean at the University of California in San Francisco and chief of staff at the San Francisco VA Health Care System. “We haven’t identified or discovered any successful intervention for bridging those disparities.”

To help move the field forward, Tuesday’s Pre-Conference Symposium: “HEADS-UP: Health Equity and Actionable Disparities in Stroke: Understanding and Problem-Solving” will be the first annual multidisciplinary scientific forum focused on race-ethnic disparities in cerebrovascular disease.
Moderated by Ovbiagele, the day-long symposium will feature lectures by respected leaders in the field of race/ethnic disparities in stroke to identify national gaps and controversies and provide opportunities for researchers from diverse scientific and professional disciplines to discuss cutting-edge research.

“This symposium will bring together established researchers in the field of stroke disparities as well as promising junior investigators to elucidate underlying causes of disparities, expose research gaps, foster collaborations and implement interventions to address the disparities,” said Amytis (Amy) Towfighi, MD, chief of neurology at the LAC + USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

During the symposium, the Edgar J. Kenton III Lecture Award 2020 will be presented to a senior investigator with recognized contributions in the field of stroke-related race/ethnic disparities. The award honors Kenton, an eminent African American stroke neurologist with a commitment to addressing disparities. Kenton served as a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.

The first recipient of this prestigious award will be Ralph Sacco, MD, MS. Sacco is chair of neurology, Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, Miller Professor of Neurology, Public Health Sciences, Human Genetics and Neurosurgery, executive director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at the Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and chief of the neurology service at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Register now for ISC 2020 and Pre-Conference Symposium III:  HEADS-UP.