One downside to aging is that one becomes more prone to develop certain illnesses as they grow older. Stroke is one of these age-related diseases that older adults should watch out for. In fact, it’s actually the main cause of disability among adult populations, according to experts.
Don’t panic yet though. A report published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Neurology has some good news for adults above the age of 65.
After tracking participants for a time period spanning from the 1980s to 2017, researchers found that rates of strokes in adults living in the United States have been on a steady decline. What more, the decrease also proved to be consistent across factors like race, gender, and decades.
Meanwhile, Silvia Koton, the study’s lead author, emphasized the importance of evaluating trends regarding the illness as its likelihood may increase along with the aging population of the world.
Koton and her colleagues were able to observe the trend by studying data from 16,000 United States residents (including both white and black people) aged 45 to 64 when the research first began in the late 1980s.
In the end, they found that 77% of all strokes recorded happened to participants who were 65 years old and above. But after adjusting for other risk factors, the researchers determined that, overall, the stroke rates of people in the aforementioned age group have decreased by a significant 32%.
Still A Concern
While the above figures on stroke rates are a positive change, Koton and her colleagues are still determined to continue further studies on the topic. She said that they are working on understanding trends in heart disease and other illnesses as well as the possible differing rates as affected by race and gender.
According to the Internet Stroke Center run by the UT Southwestern Medical Center, ischemic strokes are the most common type of stroke and accounts for about 80% of all stroke instances. It’s characterized by a clot which appears in an artery going to the brain.
Future Research & Implications
Another interesting aspect of the research’s results is pointed out by Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, an expert from the London Health Sciences Centre.
According to Hachinski, it’s surprising to see that the study’s findings remain consistently the same in different locations. Thus, it would be quite interesting to find out what exactly is causing these declining rates.
He also suggested that future research on the subject also focus on evaluating the socioeconomic factors which may be affecting strokes. What more, Hachinski recommended the analysis of the relationship with other diseases like dementia.