poorneighborhoodHigher concentrations of particulate matter from air pollution may amplify severe stroke in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.

Researchers analyzed the potential synergistic effects of living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods and air pollution on stroke severity in a bi-ethnic (53 percent Mexican-American and 47 percent non-Hispanic White) U.S. community. Air pollution levels were based on particulate matter and ozone concentrations and neighborhood socioeconomic status was defined using a composite score of census measures.

They found:

  • Of the 3,035 ischemic strokes that occurred in the study population between 2000 and 2012, people in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods were at 24 percent greater odds of severe stroke compared to people in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • The odds of severe stroke were greater when previous day ozone levels were higher, regardless of neighborhood socioeconomic neighborhood status.
  • Higher particulate matter levels amplified the odds of severe stroke in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods.