Incidence of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage among hispanics and non-hispanic whites in New Mexico

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Background and Purpose: There are differences in cerebrovascular disease incidence between racial and ethnic groups. Little is known about cerebrovascular disease among Hispanics living in the southwestern United States as compared to non-Hispanic whites. This is the first study which measures and compares the incidence of spontaneous subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) among Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites living in Bernalillo County, New Mexico. This information may help reduce the risk and incidence of SAH. Methods: Medical records of all possible cases of spontaneous SAH occurring during a two-year period (January 1, 1993 to December 31, 1994) among residents of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, were reviewed in all local hospitals. Hospital records were identified by ICD-9-CM codes. Medical examiner records were also reviewed for additional SAH cases occurring during the same time period. The 1990 U.S. census provided the population base. Results: There were 22 spontaneous SAHs among 267,965 non-Hispanic whites and 25 spontaneous SAHs among 178,310 Hispanics. Incidence of SAH increased with age in both groups. The age- and sex-adjusted total annual incidence of SAH per 100,000 people was 3.73 among non-Hispanic whites and 9.19 among Hispanics (relative risk for Hispanics 2.46, 95% confidence interval 1.37-4.43, P=0.003). The incidence rates among men and women were not significantly different in either ethnic group. Conclusions: The incidence of SAH among Hispanic residents of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, is approximately two and a half times higher than that among non-Hispanic whites. This suggests a higher prevalence or a greater tendency to rupture of berry aneurysms among Hispanics as compared to non-Hispanic whites. The reasons for this difference require further investigation.


  • Ethnic groups
  • Incidence
  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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