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Strokes on the decline in the US

Strokes on the decline in the US
21st July 2014

The number of strokes being experienced by individuals in the US has decreased, as have the fatalities caused by this condition.

Statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers showed there was a 24 per cent reduction in first-time strokes, while there were 20 per cent fewer related deaths.

It transpired these lowered figures of stroke risk were true for those aged 65 and above, and there had been little improvement in cutting the number of younger people who experienced them.

Conversely, the reduction in the quantity of fatalities tended to apply more to younger individuals, with older generations experiencing approximately the same levels.

The decrease in stroke occurrence and death has been attributed to the regulation of triggers like blood pressure, smoking and statin usage. 

On the other hand, a hike in the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes undid this hard work and increased the stroke incidence rates - although not to the same degree. 

It is believed stroke severity and enhanced treatment had an effect on the data, but the researchers were not able to ascertain just what part these two factors played.

Study co-author Dr Josef Coresh, who is professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, voiced his concerns about what the future will look like, especially in light of the increasingly prevalent problem of obesity. As a growing number are diagnosed with conditions such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes, many more individuals could be at risk of stroke.

“This research points out the areas that need improvement. It also reminds us that there are many forces threatening to push stroke rates back up and if we don’t address them head-on, our gains may be lost.”

However, Dr Coresh did state that these findings did present good news nonetheless. 

The full findings of this research can be viewed in the July 16th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

Each year in the UK, there are approximately 152,000 strokes, which equates to one every three-and-a-half minutes.

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