Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Colorado Stroke Death Rate Rises

After decades of decline, progress has slowed in preventing stroke deaths. Almost 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year, and more than 140,000 die as a result.

Although we, as a nation, have made excellent progress in treating stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, declines in stroke death rates have recently stalled in 3 out of every 4 states. In Colorado, the decline has not only stalled, it has reversed, and stroke death rate has increased.

When stroke happens, parts of the brain become damaged and can start to die within minutes. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, with an estimated cost of $34 billion annually.

Major stroke risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are happening at younger ages and may not be recognized and treated in middle-aged adults (35-64 years old).

What do we know about stroke death now?
  • Blacks have the highest stroke death rates among all races/ethnicities. 
  • Stroke death rates among Hispanics have increased by 6% each year from 2013 to 2015.
  • Strokes are happening at younger ages.
  • Recent studies also suggest that over the last 15 years younger adults (ages 18-54) have had increases in stroke hospitalizations, along with increases in stroke risk factors among those hospitalized with stroke.
Increases in stroke death rate indicate a strong need to continue to focus on diagnosing and treating risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes among younger and more ethnically diverse populations.

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