AsianScientist (Oct. 8, 2018) – In a study presented at the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology Congress 2018, researchers in Taiwan highlighted that the incidence of stroke is rising in Taiwan, in contrast to the decline in stroke cases recorded in Western countries.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and most common cause of complex disability in Taiwan, a country of about 23 million people. The burden of stroke, particularly ischemic stroke, is greater in East Asia compared to Western countries. Stroke occurrence has declined in several Western nations due to better management of risk factors, but much less is known about patterns in East Asia in the last decade.
In this study, researchers examined the incidence of stroke over a 13-year period in Taiwan. For this nationwide cohort study, researchers reviewed the records of all hospitalized patients with a primary diagnosis of stroke between 2001 and 2013 from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database.
They also recorded the type of stroke: ischemic stroke, caused by clots which cut off blood supply to parts of the brain; intracerebral hemorrhage, caused by bleeding within the brain; and subarachnoid hemorrhage, caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain.
A total of 23,023 first-ever strokes were identified. Of those, 66.9 percent of all cases were classified as ischemic stroke, 21.1 percent were intracerebral hemorrhages, 2.9 percent were subarachnoid hemorrhages and 9.1 percent were of undetermined type.
After adjusting for the rising age of the population, the researchers found that the incidence of ischemic stroke increased from 110 to 122 per 100,000 person-years. Similarly, the incidence of intracerebral hemorrhage increased from 30 to 38 per 100,000 person-years. However, the rate of subarachnoid hemorrhage was stable over the duration examined.
“Many strokes could be prevented with a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking, being physically active, eating healthily, keeping body weight down and limiting alcohol consumption. Adopting such behaviors can also prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes, which contribute to strokes. People who already have these conditions should consult their doctor about taking medication,” said study author Dr. Yan Yuan-Horng of Kuang Tien General Hospital, Taiwan.
Source: European Society of Cardiology; Photo: Shutterstock.
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