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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 174308, 7 pages
Research Article

Impact of Serum Nutritional Status on Physical Function in African American and Caucasian Stroke Survivors

1Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 10 N Greene Street (BT/18/GR), Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
2Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Baltimore Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
3Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
4Rehabilitation Research and Development’s Maryland Exercise and Robotics Center of Excellence, Baltimore VAMC, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Received 25 July 2014; Accepted 7 October 2014; Published 29 October 2014

Academic Editor: Graeme Hankey

Copyright © 2014 Monica C. Serra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The purpose of this study is to compare serum nutritional profiles in chronic stroke survivors to a representative sample of US Adults (NHANESIII) and determine whether these serum markers differed by race and impact physical function in stroke. Methods. Fasting serum samples were collected for analysis of lipids, uric acid, and albumin in 145 African American (AA) and 111 Caucasian (C) stroke survivors (age: 60 ± 1 years [mean ± SEM]). A six-minute walk was performed in a subset of stroke survivors (N = 134). Results. Triglycerides were higher and HDL-cholesterol and albumin lower in C than AA women stroke survivors (Ps < 0.05). Uric acid was lower in C than AA stroke survivors (P < 0.05). Compared to NHANESIII, HDL-cholesterol, albumin, and hemoglobin generally were lower (Ps < 0.05) and lipids were more favorable in stroke (Ps < 0.01). Uric acid was related to six-minute walk performance among a subset of stroke survivors (P < 0.05). Conclusion. In stroke, racial differences exist with regard to serum nutritional risk, but these differences are similar to that observed in the general population. Regardless of race, nutritional risk appears elevated above that of the general population with regard to many of the serum markers. As a modifiable biomarker, uric acid should be monitored closely as it may provide insight into the functional risk of stroke survivors.