Incidence of Stroke Declines in Men

Over the past few decades, significant effort has been made on reducing the risk of stroke. Recently researchers looked at the incidence of stroke over four periods from 1993 to 2010. The study looked at the patient population in five counties in Kentucky and Ohio. Overall, they noted that there were a total of 7,710 stroke cases out of which 57.2% (3948 cases) were in women.

After adjusting the data for race and age, the researchers observed that the incidence of stroke in men had dropped to 192 per 100,000 men in 2010, down from 263 in 1993-1994. But for women, the incidence was 198 per 100,000 in 2010, down from 217 per 100,000 in 1993-1994, a change that appears to be clinically insignificant. This indicates that while the incidence of stroke has declined in men, women seem to show no major improvement.

The exact reason as to why the stroke rates dropped in men but not in women remains unclear because preventive methods are the same for both genders. Some experts in neurology believe that some risk factors may be having a stronger effect in women than in men.

Common risk factors for ischemic stroke include heart disease, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, sedentary lifestyle and high levels of cholesterol. Experts suggest that perhaps these risk factors are just not being well controlled to the same extent in women. Or perhaps there is a biological difference in how these risk factors induce stroke in women versus men.

Based on this data, healthcare workers are being urged to educate women on stroke and how to prevent it. In addition, it is recommended that women who demonstrate any of the risk factors associated with stroke should be more closely followed up to ensure that they are following all preventive measures and are successfully controlling their diabetes and high blood pressure as well as abstaining from smoking.

Strokes in general can be disabling and can lead to the dysfunction of many organ systems. For those who do not recover from stroke, the cost of care can be prohibitive and the quality of life can be very poor. It is highly recommended that people follow an active lifestyle and regularly exercise because this can not only lead to reduction in weight, but can also result in better control of blood pressure, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels – all of which can significantly reduce the risk of stroke.