The risk for death and disability after a stroke fell significantly between 2000 and 2015 in the United Kingdom, according to a study recently published in PLOS Medicine.
Hatem A. Wafa, from King’s College London, and colleagues estimated time trends in mortality and functional dependence by ischemic stroke subtype during a 16-year period (between 2000 and 2015) using data from the South London Stroke Register. The analysis included 3,128 patients with first-ever ischemic stroke.
The researchers found that between 2000 to 2003 and 2012 to 2015, the adjusted overall mortality decreased by 24 percent (hazard ratio [HR] per year, 0.976). Both men and women saw mortality reductions, as did white and black populations. However, these mortality reductions were only significant in cardio-embolism strokes (HR per year, 0.972) and in patients aged ≥55 years (HR per year, 0.975). Within 30 days and one year after an ischemic stroke, case-fatality rates declined by 38 percent (rate ratio [RR] per year, 0.962) and 37 percent (RR per year, 0.963), respectively. There was an independent association noted between recent ischemic stroke and a 23 percent reduced risk for functional dependence at three months after onset (RR per year, 0.983).
“We think the change is due to improvements to the way we treat stroke, such as higher admission rates to hospital, increased use of computed tomography and Magnetic resonance imaging scans, and more frequent treatment with thrombolytic and anticoagulant medications in the acute phase of stroke,” a coauthor said in a statement.