24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
AHA News: More People Are Dying During the Pandemic – and Not Just From COVID-19Antiviral Drugs Tied to Heart Issue in COVID-19 PatientsMost Survivors of Severe COVID-19 Report Symptoms Many Weeks After 'Recovery'Terrifying Delirium Can Strike Hospitalized COVID-19 PatientsCold War Antiseptic May Be Valuable Germ FighterWith Social Distancing, Schools Should Be Safe to Reopen This Fall, Experts SayU.S. Sees Another Record-Breaking Day of New Coronavirus Cases'Aerosol Boxes' Meant to Protect COVID Health Teams Might Harm Them: StudyAHA News: Where Do New Viruses Like the Coronavirus Come From?Blood Test May Reveal Concussion Severity With Accuracy of Spinal TapIn Many Cases, Hip Replacement Also Eases Back Pain'Broken Heart Syndrome' Has Risen During Pandemic: StudyCoronavirus Fears Kept Many Essential Workers at Home in April: StudyExposure to Iodine in the NICU May Affect Infant Thyroid FunctionA Dangerous Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria May Now Lurk in U.S. Water, SoilZika May Have Damaged More Infants' Brains Than ExpectedU.S. Air Pollution Still at Deadly Levels, Study FindsCOVID-19 Outbreaks at Meat Processing Plants Are Hitting Minorities HardU.S. Coronavirus Cases Near 3 Million as Hospitals in Sun Belt Fill Up With PatientsAHA News: Months After Infection, Many COVID-19 Patients Can't Shake IllnessCoronavirus Ups Anxiety, Depression in the LGBTQ CommunityMajor Medical Groups Urge Americans to Wear Face MasksBlack Patients Fare Worse After AngioplastyHow Immune System Fights COVID-19 May Be Key to Vaccine SuccessWill the COVID-19 Pandemic Leave a Mental Health Crisis in Its Wake?New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit Another HighMultiple Surgeries for Cleft Lip, Palate Won't Cause Major Psychological DamageHIV May Not Worsen COVID-19 OutlookU.S. Coronavirus Hospitalizations Spiking in South, WestAHA News: To Everything There Is a Season, Including Heart DiseaseAsthma, Allergies Plus Pandemic May Pose 4th of July ChallengesStroke Appears 8 Times More Likely With COVID Than With FluCOVID-19 Death Risk Twice as High in New York City as Some CountriesFireworks Are Bad News for Your LungsScientists Find Source of COVID ClotsNew U.S. Coronavirus Cases Top 50,000 as More States Slow Reopening PlansNumbers of Non-COVID-19 Deaths Up During PandemicNo Good Evidence on Accuracy of Coronavirus Antibody Tests: StudyAHA News: COVID-19 Pandemic Brings New Concerns About Excessive DrinkingMuscle Relaxants for Back Pain Are Soaring: Are They Safe?Trauma of Racism Fuels High Blood Pressure Among Black Americans: StudyCOVID-19 Blood Test Might Predict Who Will Need a VentilatorWhat's the Best DIY Face Mask Against COVID-19?Deep Brain Stimulation May Slow Parkinson's, Study FindsU.S. Could See 100,000 New Cases of COVID-19 Each Day, Fauci SaysGlobally, COVID-19 Cases May Stretch Far Beyond Official Numbers: StudyFBI: Beware of Scammers Selling Fake COVID-19 Antibody TestsAHA News: Sadness and Isolation of Pandemic Can Make Coping With Grief HarderVaping-Related Lung Injuries Still Happening -- And May Look Like COVID-19Most With Coronavirus Not Sure How They Caught It: CDC
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Diabetes

AHA News: Stroke Death Rate Increasing for Middle-Aged Americans


HealthDay News
Updated: Nov 7th 2019

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Nov. 7, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- In more than half of all counties across the country, a growing percentage of middle-aged Americans are dying of strokes, according to a new study.

The study – which examined stroke mortality rates at the county level – reveals a statistical jump previously masked by national data showing a leveling off of stroke mortality rates following years of decline. The study was published Nov. 8 in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

"Everyone needs to pay attention to this," said Eric Hall, lead author on the study and a Ph.D. student in the department of epidemiology at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta.

"At the national level, we know that stroke mortality had been steadily declining for a few decades and started to stagnate around 2010. We took a look at those mortality rates at the county level and saw they were increasing in many counties. That this was happening among middle-aged groups was particularly surprising."

Nationally, stroke mortality rates – the number of stroke deaths per year divided by the number of people in a population – fell slightly, by 0.7%, each year from 2010 to 2016 for people ages 35-64. It fell 3.5% for those 65 and older.

But when researchers looked at the data on the county level, they found stroke death rates went up in 56.6% of counties during that time period for adults 35-64, with 1 in 4 counties actually experiencing a 10% or more increase. That was even as stroke mortality rates fell for adults 65 and older.

Overall, twice as many counties saw an increase in stroke deaths during that period for middle-aged people compared to older adults. Nearly half of middle-aged adults, or 60.2 million Americans, lived in counties for which stroke mortality rates went up.

The county-level increases don't mean national data are wrong, said Hall.

"National or state-level data show an average," he explained. "These data are important because they give high-level perspective on trends in disease. But they don't reflect changes or disparities occurring at the local level."

Another surprising finding, said Hall, was that increases in mortality rates occurred in counties across the country, including outside the traditional "stroke belt" of the Southeast, so named because of the prevalence of stroke and risk factors in the region.

Although the highest stroke mortality rates remain in the Southeast, most of the greatest increases for middle-aged adults were seen outside that area, the study shows.

The fact that stroke mortality is increasing in many counties outside the stroke belt suggests risk factors that have been typical to that region have broadened nationally, said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, head of the Division of Neurology Clinical Outcomes Research and Population Science at Columbia University in New York.

For example, the nationwide rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes over the past few decades could be having an impact now on the number of people dying from strokes across the country, he said.

"These conditions don't lead to stroke immediately," said Elkind, who was not involved in the new research. "What we are seeing now in terms of stroke may reflect what was going on 10 or 12 years ago."

He and Hall hope the information can give community organizations and health professionals the data they need to help tailor prevention programs.

"This will help them tailor resources and policies to their individual community health needs," Hall said.

High consumption of carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages combined with high levels of inactivity and "people addicted to their screens" contribute over time to greater obesity levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes, Elkind said.

"We need not just individual behavior changes but changes at the societal level," he said, "such as better urban design and more physical activity for kids in school, so they grow up with a different attitude towards physical activity."