Study finds favorable trends in stroke
Fewer people are suffering stroke and fewer people are dying from stroke, new research from Sweden hints.
To varying degrees, there have been improvements in the incidence of stroke and in stroke deaths among both diabetic and non-diabetic adults, Dr. Aslak Rautio and colleagues from Umea University report in the journal Stroke.
The researchers used data from a Swedish stroke registry to compare time trends in incidence, case-fatality, and death in stroke patients with or without diabetes. All strokes in patients 35 to 74 years old were registered from January 1, 1985, and December 31, 2003.
Among 15,382 adults who had a stroke, 11,605 had a first-ever stroke and 3777 had a repeat stroke. Diabetes was identified in 23 percent of stroke patients.
Among diabetic men, the incidence of stroke was approximately 5-fold higher in those with than without diabetes, and for diabetic women, it was 7- to 9-fold higher.
A marked decline in the incidence of first-ever stroke was observed in non-diabetic men (by 0.8 percent per year) and in diabetic women (by 1.5 percent per year). The incidence of repeat stroke declined significantly in all but diabetic men. The decrease in the incidence in first and recurrent stroke was significantly greater in diabetic women than in non-diabetic women.
All groups experienced declines in death from stroke except for diabetic women suffering a first-ever stroke.
“There were more recurrent events among diabetic subjects than among non-diabetic subjects,” Rautio and colleagues note. “Therefore, secondary prevention for the diabetic patient with established cardiovascular disease must be intensified with intervention against all traditional cardiovascular risk factors,” they urge. Treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol “are instrumental to this aim,” they add.
SOURCE: Stroke, December 2008.
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