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Stroke deaths rising after plummeting for 40 years

Researchers call for "novel strategies to combat this alarming trend.”

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By Gwyn Wright via SWNS

Stroke deaths are rising again after plummeting for 40 years - and obesity and diabetes could be to blame, a new study revealed.

Scientists say fatalities caused by the condition bottomed out in the United States in 2014 and have now started creeping up again.

Researchers at Rutgers University expect deaths to carry on rising as millennials age unless a breakthrough new treatment is found.

The team says the risk of ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood vessels on the brain are blocked, began rising from the late 1950s until the early 1990s and the trend is now playing out in higher stroke deaths in older people.

Stroke mortality was found to have fallen from 88 to 31 per 100,000 people in women and 112 to 39 per 100,000 people in men in the US between 1975 and 2019.

They also found stroke deaths had fallen more rapidly for ischemic strokes than hemorrhagic strokes, which take place when blood vessels leak or burst.

The ischemic stroke fatality rate fell roughly 80 percent during the study period, while the hemorrhagic stroke fatality rate fell roughly 65 percent.

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For the study, the team from Rutgers University in New Jersey used a detailed death certificate database to identify almost every adult under 85 who died from a stroke during the 44 years- which amounted to 4.3 million deaths in total.

Patients were then further divided by their age at the time of death.

Dr. Cande Ananth, the lead author of the study, said: “After nearly four decades of declining stroke-related mortality, the risk appears to be increasing in the United States.

“Starting around 1960, the later you were born, the higher your risk of suffering a fatal ischemic stroke at any particular age.

“This study didn’t identify a cause for this trend, but other research suggests the main culprits are increasing rates of obesity and diabetes.

“Our research underscores the need for novel strategies to combat this alarming trend.”

The findings were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

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