Neuropharmacology & Neurotherapeutics
Mar. 13, 2021
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The number of deaths worldwide from ischemic stroke increased from 2 million in 1990 to more than 3 million in 2019, and is expected to increase to nearly 5 million by 2030, according to a study published in the May 17, 2023, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study focused on ischemic stroke, which is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain and is the most common type of stroke.
“This increase in the global death toll of ischemic stroke along with a predicted further increase in the future is concerning, but ischemic stroke is highly preventable,” said study author Lize Xiong, MD, of Tongji University in Shanghai, China. “Our results suggest that a combination of lifestyle factors like smoking and a diet high in sodium along with other factors such as high blood pressure and high body mass index can lead to an increased risk of stroke.”
For the study, researchers analyzed data from the Global Health Data Exchange from 1990 to 2019. As the world population grew, the global number of ischemic stroke deaths increased from 2.04 million in 1990 to 3.29 million in 2019. However, the stroke rate decreased from 66 strokes per 100,000 people in 1990 to 44 strokes per 100,000 people in 2019.
“This decrease in the stroke rate likely means that the overall increase in the number of strokes worldwide is mainly due to population growth and aging,” Xiong said.
Researchers found that seven major risk factors including smoking, a diet high in sodium, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney dysfunction, high blood sugar, and high BMI contributed to the higher number of strokes.
Researchers then used the database to predict the number of deaths for 2020 to 2030.
Researchers found that the death toll for ischemic stroke is expected to increase further to 4.9 million in 2030. When researchers factored in the risk factors, they predicted that the overall number of deaths from stroke could reach 6.4 million if these risk factors are not controlled or prevented.
“This study provides an insightful perspective on the global burden of ischemic stroke,” said editorial author Carlos Cantú-Brito MD PhD, from the Stroke Clinic of the Salvador Zubirán National Institute of Health Sciences and Nutrition in Mexico City, Mexico. “It points out many vital factors that should be used for informed policymaking, emphasizing the need for policies and programs to promote healthy lifestyle choices, including regular physical activity, low-salt diets, and smoking cessation.”
A limitation of the study was that quality and accuracy of disease data from some countries cannot be guaranteed as many did not have reliable information on strokes.
The study was supported by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Shanghai Fourth People's Hospital, Chinese National Key Research and Development Program, and Nature Science Foundation of Shanghai.
Source: News Release
American Academy of Neurology
May 17, 2023