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August 09, 2017

Study: Strokes declining in men, but not in women

Although strokes were down in the United States in the past two decades, a new report found that men are seeing a faster decline than women.

Researchers from Brown University, the University of Cincinnati, Indiana University and Baylor College of Medicine looked at data on 1.3 million participants living in five counties across southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky.

In a 15-year period, strokes there declined significantly in men, but not in women, according to the study. Further, women accounted for 57 percent of 7,710 strokes recorded.

"More providers need to recognize that more and more women are at increased risk of stroke," Dr. Tracy Madsen, the study's lead author, said in an ABC News report. "We need to consider being especially aggressive about risk factor control in women."

Researchers used data from July 1993 to June 1994, as well as calendar years 1999, 2005 and 2010.

Researchers found that women were at an average of 72 when they suffered their first stroke, while the average man was 68. The study also found that, in men, overall stroke rates went from 263 strokes per 100,000 men at the beginning of the study went to 192 per 100,000 by the end. In women, that rate went from 217 strokes per 100,000 to 198 per 100,000, but that difference was not statistically significant.

Stroke has dropped to the fifth-leading cause of death among men, but it remains the four-leading cause among women, according to ABC.

ABC reported that common stroke factors such as high blood presure, high cholestoral and diabetes are all on the rise, something that likely reflects an aging population.

"Future research is needed to understand why the decrease in ischemic stroke incidence is more pronounced in men," researchers said.

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