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European stroke rates should be 'call to action'

European stroke rates should be 'call to action'
13th April 2011

Stroke rates have been found to vary dramatically throughout Europe, with levels on the west of the continent decreasing while those in eastern nations rise.

Countries with relatively low stroke rates at the beginning of the 20th century, tending to be western, have experienced further drops in incidence.

However, eastern European and central Asian countries, including Russia, Poland, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan which had a high stroke frequency at the beginning of the 20th century, have seen "a further unprecedented increase in this cause of death".

Authors say that their findings show how effectively blood pressure is controlled in different nations.

Professor Josep Redon from the University of Valencia said: "Monitoring changes over time can be extremely useful to watch the status of hypertension, the most important cardiovascular risk factor.

"We hope that this paper will be a call to action in the face of the huge impact of stroke all over Europe."

In other news, research carried out at the University of Iowa has found that the physical recovery of people who have experienced a stroke can be improved through a short course of antidepressants.

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