Impact of Immigration Status on Stroke

Do Immigrants Receive Effective Stroke Treatment?

There are over 300 million immigrants and refugees in the world today, many millions of whom live in the United States and Canada. Dr. Manav Vyas, of the University of Toronto, and a team of researchers want to find out how immigration status affects care and outcomes after stroke, a leading cause of death and disability around the world.

Manav Vyas, MD Stroke & Vascular Disease May 15, 2017 at 2:18 am


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Project Description

Stroke is the Leading Cause of Disability in the U.S.

Almost 800,000 strokes occur each year in the United States, more than 140,000 of which are deadly, making stroke one of the leading causes of death.

Stroke is also the number one cause of serious, long-term disability; stroke survivors are faced with a new set of difficulties including muscle weakness and memory loss, which can limit the ability to perform everyday tasks and essential job functions.

Immigrants and Stroke

Researchers have found that immigrants have a lower risk of stroke compared to people who have lived here a long time. They believe this is due to the "healthy immigrant effect", which states that people who immigrate are more likely to be healthy. However, we do not know if this is also true of all immigrants, irrespective of the country they migrate from.

For those immigrants who do suffer a stroke, we do not know whether treatment is as effective as that of long-term residents. What’s more, researchers don’t know how immigrant ethnicity plays into stroke risk and disability.

Because of the impact stroke might have on these populations, it is important to our global community that we understand the health issues these immigrants face, including stroke risk and recovery.

Our Plan to Learn More

Dr. Manav Vyas, of the University of Toronto, will use health information gathered from 9 million Canadians to find out how immigration status and ethnicity factor into stroke risk and recovery. Dr. Vyas will compare immigrants and long-term residents in terms of death, disability, rehabilitation, and stroke recurrence 30 days after a stroke. Dr. Vyas and his team also plan to find out if stroke care varies among different types of immigrants, such as those who immigrated more recently, and those of different ethnic backgrounds based on the country of immigration.

How You Can Help

By donating to Dr. Vyas’s research you can contribute to improving patient survival and rehabilitation from stroke, a leading cause of death and disability world-wide. By learning how immigration status and ethnicity play into stroke risk, Dr. Vyas’s research will help doctors provide their patients with better care, improving stroke rehabilitation and increasing quality of life for immigrants and their families.

“This project will help to identify at-risk populations who receive poor quality of care and have poor outcomes following stroke that can in turn inform health care providers and policy-makers to take appropriate steps to help and protect those populations,” Dr. Vyas concludes.

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