Race-ethnic differences in patent foramen ovale, atrial septal aneurysm, and right atrial anatomy among ischemic stroke patients

Carlos J. Rodriguez, Shunichi Homma, Ralph L. Sacco, Marco R. Di Tullio, Robert R. Sciacca, J. P. Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - Stroke remains a substantial cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States. Racial differences in stroke incidence and mortality persist with well-known excesses among blacks. Information on stroke among Hispanics is limited. In particular, little is known about whether patent foramen ovale (PFO), atrial septal aneurysm (ASA), and other atrial anomalies associated with cryptogenic stroke differ among minority populations. Methods - As a part of the PFO in Cryptogenic Stroke Study, transesophageal echocardiography was performed in a cohort of 630 ischemic stroke patients (mean age, 59±12 years; 44% women; 45% whites, 35% blacks, 17% Hispanics, 3% other). The prevalences of PFO, ASA, and right atrial (RA) anatomy favoring paradoxical embolization were compared among race-ethnic groups. Statistical analyses used analysis of variance for continuous variables and logistic regression for dichotomous variables with adjustments for age and sex. Results - Age- and sex-adjusted prevalences of PFO and ASA were similar across race-ethnic subgroups. However, large PFO was significantly less prevalent among blacks than among whites (odds ratio, 0.47; 95% confidence interval, 0.24 to 0.91; P=0.02). RA anatomy favoring paradoxical embolization was also significantly less prevalent among blacks compared with whites (odds ratio, 0.62; 95% confidence interval, 0.43 to 0.91; P=0.01). There were no significant differences in prevalence between whites and Hispanics. Conclusions - Although the frequency of PFO did not vary among race-ethnic groups, a large PFO and RA anatomy favoring paradoxical embolization were significantly more prevalent among whites and Hispanics compared with blacks. These may be relatively more important risk factors for stroke among whites and Hispanics than among blacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2097-2102
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Echocardiography
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic groups
  • Racial differences
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing

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