Overview (Original Project)
The Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project is an ongoing stroke surveillance study that began in 1999. BASIC is the only ongoing stroke surveillance project focusing on Mexican Americans. Mexican Americans are the largest segment of the Hispanic American population, the United States' largest minority group. Since the inception of this project, we have assembled a cohort of over 4,992 cerebrovascular disease patients whom we are able to follow for recurrent cerebrovascular events as well as mortality. This gives us tremendous power to detect associations with biological and social risk factors for stroke, important to Mexican Americans as well as the broader United States population. We have demonstrated increased stroke incidence and recurrence in Mexican Americans. Stroke severity and ischemic stroke subtypes are similar between Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites. Mortality following stroke appears to be less in Mexican Americans. In the next five years we are positioned to delineate trends in stroke rates, and to explore the potential reasons for the increased stroke burden in Mexican Americans, as well as their improved survival. This information will be critically important to all populations to reduce the devastation of stroke. We will continue to make important observations useful for planning delivery of stroke care in communities. For the first time we will investigate functional and cognitive outcome following stroke in Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
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Newest Developments
We will now also study the role of health care quality and medication compliance on stroke outcomes. We will collect blood on all stroke patients useful for genetic studies by our group and others, and we have initiated stroke surveillance in a similar community within Mexico that will serve as a great basis for comparison to the Corpus Christi population. BASIC has been a very prolific study with more than 54 original peer-reviewed publications. Indeed, this study is just beginning to provide the rich epidemiologic and clinical data that are necessary to control the epidemic of cerebrovascular disease in Mexican Americans. We know that the next five years will allow us to make contributions that will be directly useful for interventions to reduce health disparities, prevent stroke and improve stroke outcomes in all populations.
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Study Staff

BASIC Field Office Staff

From left to right: Luis Sanchez, Lorie Villarreal, Norma Jean Bullard, Elizabeth Ramirez, Ruth Longoria, Misty Ujhely, Nelda Garcia, Julie Behnke, Belinda Zuniga, Dr. Lewis Morgenstern, Emma Sais, Pamela Arevalo

Principal Investigators:
Lynda D. Lisabeth, PhD, MPH
Lewis B. Morgenstern, MD
Project Manager:
Erin Case, BA
Devin L. Brown, MD
Brisa N. Sanchez, PhD
Darin Zahuranec, MD
Field Office Director:
Nelda N. Garcia, BS
Corpus Christi Neurologist:
Morgan Campbell, MD
Corpus Christi Field Office Staff:
Pamela Arevalo, Julie Behnke, Norma Jean Bullard, Ruth Longoria, Elizabeth Ramirez, Emma Sais, Luis Sanchez, Misty Ujhely,
Lorie Villarreal, Belinda Zuniga

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Related Projects

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BASIC Publications 2000-2005 2006-2009 2010-present


1. Morgenstern LB, Steffen-Batey L, Smith MA, Moye LA. Barriers to stroke prevention and acute stroke treatment in Mexican Americans. Stroke 2001;32:1360-1364.

2. Piriyawat P, Smajsova M, Smith MA, Pallegar S, Al-Wabil A, Garcia N, Risser JM, Moye LA, Morgenstern LB. Comparison of active and passive surveillance for cerebrovascular disease: The Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project. Am J Epidemiol 2002;156:1062-1069.

3. Al-Wabil A, Cox MA, Moye LA, Burgin WS, Morgenstern LB. Improving efficiency of stroke research: The Brain Attack Surveillance In Corpus Christi (BASIC) Study. J Clin Epid 2003;56:351-357.

4. Smith MA, Risser JMH, Lisabeth LD, Moye LA, Morgenstern LB. Access to care, acculturation and risk factors for stroke in Mexican Americans: The Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi Project. Stroke 2003;34:2671-2675.

5. Smith MA, Risser JMH, Moye LA, Garcia N, Akiwumi O, Uchino K, Morgenstern LB. Designing multi-ethnic stroke studies: The Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project. Ethnicity and Disease 2004;14:520-526.

6. Morgenstern LB, Lisabeth LD, Mecozzi AC, Smith MA, Longwell PJ, McFarling DA, Risser JMH. A population-based study of acute stroke and TIA diagnosis. Neurology 2004;62:895-900.

7. Morgenstern LB, Smith MA, Lisabeth LD, Risser JMH, Uchino K, Garcia N, Longwell PJ, McFarling DA, Akuwumi O, Al-Wabil A, Al-Senani F, Brown DL, Moyé LA. Excess stroke in Mexican Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites: The Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) Project. Am J Epidemiol 2004;160:376-383

8. Uchino K, Risser JMH, Smith MA, Moye LA, Morgenstern LB. Ischemic Stroke sub-types among Mexican Americans and non Hispanic whites: The Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi (BASIC) project. Neurology 2004;63:574-576.

9. Lisabeth LD, Ireland JK, Risser JMH, Brown DL, Smith MA, Garcia NM, Morgenstern LB. Stroke risk following transient ischemic attack in a population-based setting. Stroke 2004;35:1842-1846.

10. Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Garcia NM, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Emergency department evaluation of ischemic stroke and TIA: The BASIC Project. Neurology 2004;63:2250-2254.

11. Lisabeth LD, Kardia LR, Smith MA, Fornage M, Morgenstern LB. Family history of stroke among Mexican-American and non-Hispanic-white patients with stroke and TIA: implications for the feasibility and design of stroke genetics research. Neuroepidemiology 2005;24:96-102.

12. Zahuranec DB, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Morgenstern LB. Is it time for a large, collaborative study of pediatric stroke? Stroke 2005;36:1825-1829.

13. Lisabeth LD, Smith MA, Brown DL, Uchino K, Morgenstern LB. Family history and stroke outcome in a bi-ethnic, population-based stroke surveillance study. BMC Neurol 2005 5:20.


14. Kass-Hout TA., Moyé LA, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. A Scoring System for Ascertainment of Incident Stroke; the Risk Index Score (RISc). Methods Inf Med 2006;45:27-36.

15. Lisabeth, LD, Risser JMH, Brown DL, Al-Senani F, Uchino K, Smith MA, Garcia N, Longwell PJ, McFarling DA, Al-Wabil A, Akuwumi O, Moye LA, Morgenstern LB. Stroke burden in Mexican Americans: the impact of mortality following stroke. Ann Epidemiol 2006;16:33-40.

16. Zahuranec DB, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Gonzales NR, Longwell PJ, Eden SV, Smith MA, Garcia NM, Morgenstern LB. Differences in intracerebral hemorrhage between Mexican Americans and non-Hispanic Whites. Neurology 2006;66:30-34.

17. Smith MA, Lisabeth LD, Brown DL, Morgenstern LB. Gender comparisons of diagnostic evaluation for ischemic stroke patients. Neurology 2005;65:855-858.

18. Zahuranec DB, Gonzales NR, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Longwell PJ, Eden SV, Smith MA, Garcia NM, Hoff JT, Morgenstern LB. Presentation of intracerebral hemorrhage in a community. J Neurol Neurosurg Psych 2006;77:340-344.

19. Caveney AF, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB, Lisabeth LD. Use of death certificates to study ethnic-specific mortality. Pub Health Rep 2006;121:275-281.

20. Brown DL, Boden-Albala B, Langa KM, Lisabeth LD, Fair M, Smith MA, Sacco RL, Morgenstern LB. Projected costs of ischemic stroke: comparison of Hispanics, African-Americans,and whites. Neurology 2006;67:1390-1395.

21. Lisabeth, LD, Smith MA, Brown DL, Moye LA, Risser JMH, Morgenstern LB. Ethnic differences in stroke recurrence. Ann Neurol 2006;60:469-475.

22. Kerber KA, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Stroke among patients with dizziness, vertigo and imbalance in the emergency department: a population-based study. Stroke 2006:37;2484-2487.

23. Lisabeth LD, Diex Roux AV, Escobar JD, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Neighborhood environment and risk of ischemic stroke. Am J Epidemiol 2007;165:279-287.

24. Brown DL, Al-Senani F, Lisabeth LD, Farnie MA, Colletti LA, Langa KM, Fendrick AM, Garcia NM, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Defining cause of death in stroke patients: the Brain Attack Surveillance in Corpus Christi Project. Am J Epidemiol 2007 165:591-596.

25. Gonzales NR, Brown DL, Maddox KE, Conley KM, Espinosa N, Pary JK, Karim AP, Moyé LA, Grotta JC, Morgenstern LB. Kids Identifying and Defeating Stroke (KIDS): Design of a School Based Intervention to Improve Stroke Awareness. Ethn Dis 2007: Spring;17:320-326.

26. Zahuranec DB, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Gonzales NR, Longwell PJ, Smith MA, Garcia N, Morgenstern LB. Early care limitations independently predict mortality after intracerebral hemorrhage. Neurology 2007;68:1651-1657.

27. Morgenstern LB, Gonzales NR, Maddox KE, Brown DL, Karim AP, Espinosa N, Moyé LA, Pary JK, Grotta JC, Lisabeth LD, Conley KM. A Randomized, controlled trial to teach middle school children to recognize stroke and call 911: The Kids Identifying and Defeating Stroke project (KIDS). Stroke 2007;38:2972-2978.

28. Majersik JJ, Smith MA, Zahuranec DB, Sánchez BN, Morgenstern LB. Population-based analysis of the impact of expanding the time window for acute stroke treatment. Stroke , Stroke 2007 38:3213-7.

29. Conley, KM, Majersik JJ, Gonzales GR, Maddox KE, Pary JK, Brown DL, Moye LA, Espinosa N, Grotta JC, Morgenstern LB. Kids identifying and defeating stroke (KIDS): Development and implementation of a multi-ethnic health education intervention to increase stroke awareness among middle school students and their parents. Health Promotion Practice , 2008 Mar 10 [Epub ahead of print].

30. Brown DL, Lisabeth LD, Chetcuti SJ, Grossman PM, Alexander T, Pappas JD, Moscucci M, Eagle KA, Garcia NM, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Screening for myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke: A population-based study. Neuroepidemiology 2007;29:96-100.

31. Zahuranec DB, Morgenstern LB, Garcia NM, Conley KM, Lisabeth LD, Rank GS, Smith MA, Meurer WJ, Resnicow K, Brown DL. Stroke health and risk education (SHARE) pilot project: feasibility and need for church-based stroke health promotion in a bi-ethnic community. Stroke 2008;39:1583-1585.

32. Lisabeth LD, Peyser PA, Long JC, Majerisk JJ, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Stroke among siblings in a bi-ethnic community. Neuroepidemiol 2008;31:33-38.

33. Lisabeth LD, Escobar JD, Dvonch JT, Sanchez BN, Majersik JJ, Brown DL, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB. Ambient air pollution and risk of ischemic stroke and TIA. Ann Neurol 2008; 64: 53-59.

34. Lisabeth LD, Smith MA, Sánchez BN, Brown DL. Ethnic disparities in stroke and hypertension among women: the BASIC project. Am J Hypertens 2008; 21:778-783.

35. Eden SV, Meurer WJ, Sánchez BN, Lisabeth LD, Smith MA, Brown DL, Morgenstern LB. Gender and ethnic differences in subarachnoid hemorrhage. Neurology 2008; 2;71:731-735.

36. Meurer WJ, Sánchez BN, Smith MA, Lisabeth LD, Majersik JJ, Brown DL, Uchino K, Bonikowski FP, Mendizabal JE, Zahuranec DB, Morgenstern LB. Predicting ischaemic stroke subtype from presenting systolic blood pressure: the BASIC Project. J Intern Med 2009;265:388-396

37. Morgenstern LB, Escobar JD, Sánchez BN, Hughes R, Zuniga BG, Garcia N, Lisabeth LD. Fast food and neighborhood stroke risk. Ann Neurol 2009; 66:165-170.

38. Zahuranec DB, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD,Gonzales NR, PJ Longwell, Smith MA, Garcia NM, Morgenstern LB. Ethnic differences in do-not-resuscitate orders after intracerebral hemorrhage. Crit Care Med 2009; 37: 2807-2811.

2010 - present

39. Smith MA, Lisabeth LD, Bonikowski F, Morgenstern LB. The role of ethnicity, sex, and language on delay to hospital arrival for acute ischemic stroke. Stroke 2010;41:905-909.

40. Lisabeth LD, Sánchez BN, Escobar J, Hughes R, Meurer WJ, Zuniga B, Garcia N, Brown DL, Morgenstern LB. The food environment in an urban Mexican American community. Health and Place 2010; 16:598-605.

41. Skolarus LE, Sánchez BN, Morgenstern LB, Garcia NM, Smith MA, Brown DL, Lisabeth LD. Validity of proxies and correction for proxy use when evaluating social determinants of health in stroke patients. Stroke 2010;41:510-515.

42. Smith MA, Lisabeth LD, Bonikowski F, Morgenstern LB. The Role of Ethnicity, Sex and Language on Delay to Hospital Arrival for Acute Ischemic Stroke. Stroke 2010; 41:905-909.

43. Cantu-Brito C, Majersik JJ, Sanchez BN Ruano A, Quiñónez G, Arbola J, Morgenstern LB. Hospitalized stroke surveillance in the community of Durango Mexico—the Brain Attack Surveillance in Durango (BASID) Study. Stroke 2010; 41: 878-884.

44. Zahuranec DB, Morgenstern LB, Sánchez BN, Resnicow K, White DB, Hemphill JC 3rd. Do-not-resuscitate orders and predictive models after intracerebral hemorrhage. Neurology. 2010;75:626-633.

45. Simpson JR, Zahuranec DB, Lisabeth LD, Sánchez BN, Skolarus LE, Mendizabal JE, Smith MA, Garcia NM, Morgenstern LB. Mexican Americans with atrial fibrillation have more recurrent strokes than do non-Hispanic whites. Stroke 2010;41:2132-2136.

46. Kerber KA, Burke JF, Brown DL, Meurer WJ, Smith MA, Lisabeth LD, Morgenstern LB, Zahuranec DB. Does intracerebral hemorrhage mimic benign dizziness presentations? A population based study. Emerg Med J 2012; 29: 43-46.

47. Cantu-Brito C, Majersik JJ, Sánchez BN, Ruano A, Becerra-Mendoza D, Wing JJ, Morgenstern LB. Door-to-Door Capture of Incident and Prevalent Stroke Cases in Durango, Mexico: The Brain Attack Surveillance in Durango Study. Stroke 2011;42:601-606.

48. Skolarus LE, Lisabeth LD, Sánchez BN, Smith MA, Garcia NM, Risser, Morgenstern LB. The Prevalence of Spirituality, Optimism, Depression, and Fatalism in a Bi-ethnic Stroke Population. J Relig Health 2010 Dec 24. [Epub ahead of print]

49. Lisabeth LD, Morgenstern LB, Wing JJ, Sanchez BN, Zahuranec DB, Skolarus LE, Burke JF, Kleerekoper M, Smith MA, Brown DL. Poststroke Fractures in A Bi-ethnic Community. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis 2011 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print]

50. Lisabeth LD, Morgenstern LB, Burke DT, Sun YV, Long JC. Ancestral heterogeneity in a biethnic stroke population. Ann Hum Genet. 2011;75:508-515.

51. Morgenstern, LB, Sánchez BN, Skolarus LE, Garcia N, Risser JMH, Wing JJ, Smith MA, Zahuranec DB, Lisabeth LD. Fatalism, optimism, spirituality, depressive symptoms and stroke outcome: A population-based analysis. Stroke 2011;42:3518-3523.

52. Skolarus LE, Lisabeth LD, Morgenstern LB, Burgin W, Brown DL. Sleep Apnea Risk Among Mexican American and Non-Hispanic White Stroke Survivors. Stroke 2012;43:1143-1145.

53. Sealy-Jefferson S, Wing JJ, Sánchez BN, Brown DL, Meurer WJ, Smith MA, Morgenstern LB, Lisabeth LD. Age- and Ethnic-Specific Sex Differences in Stroke Risk. Gend Med 2012; 9: 121-128.

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