Groundbreaking Stroke Study Renewed for Another 5 Years

Contact: Keith Herrell
(513) 558-4559

CINCINNATI—The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Study at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine, which has shed light on stroke incidence and awareness for over two decades, is assured of another five years of funding.

Brett Kissela, MD, MS, and Dawn Kleindorfer, MD, co-principal investigators for the project, recently learned that they were successful in an application with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to renew the study for five years. The total grant award is about $7 million.

Dr. Kissela is the Albert Barnes Voorheis Chair of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at the UC College of Medicine. Dr. Kleindorfer is Chief of the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine’s Division of Vascular Neurology and Co-Director of the UC Stroke Team. Both Drs. Kissela and Kleindorfer are UC Health neurologists and members of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, a partnership of the College of Medicine and UC Health.

Begun in 1993 by Joseph Broderick, MD, now Director of the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Study was designed to be the first large, population-based metropolitan study of trends in stroke incidence rates and outcome within a biracial (African-American and Caucasian) population.

Researchers identify all hospitalized and autopsied cases of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA), plus a sampling of nursing homes and physicians’ offices, among the 1.3 million inhabitants of a five-county region of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky (Hamilton and Clermont counties in Ohio and Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties in Kentucky).

“Our area’s population is similar to that of the United States in terms of age, economic status and racial makeup,” Dr. Kissela says, “so the study is a great resource for understanding stroke—how it applies in our community and therefore how we can generalize that out to the rest of the country.”

Adds Dr. Kleindorfer: “Any new drug, any new therapy, any clinical trial that’s going to be planned has to start with this question: How many people is it going to be relevant for? That’s where our study comes in.”

Over the past 22 years, the study has produced numerous major findings, particularly with regard to racial disparities in stroke. It found that African-Americans have higher rates of stroke than Caucasians, and this disparity is greatest at younger ages. In addition, the study found that the number of hemorrhages caused by blood thinners rose four-fold over a 10-year period. The rise resulted from the increased use of blood thinners to prevent stroke from atrial fibrillation.

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