Recent historical data for the harm done due to the incidence of stroke in the old is similar to that gathered for many age-related diseases. With progress in medicine the risk of suffering a stroke is falling, and the following consequences are becoming less severe. To be clear, it is still a life-threatening, potentially fatal, crippling biological structural failure. Yet your odds are better today than they were last year, and continue to improve. Because there are more people in the world, and more of those people are living longer, the overall incidence and cost of stroke is increasing, however. An optimist might see this as a spur that will lead to more interest in treating the causes of aging, the collection of processes that are the underlying reason for stroke and all of the other catastrophic age-related failures of the cardiovascular system.
The objective of this study is to show geographic patterns of incidence, prevalence, mortality, disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) and years lived with disability (YLDs) and their trends for ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke in the world for 1990-2013. Stroke incidence, prevalence, mortality, DALYs and YLDs were estimated following the general approach of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 with several important improvements in methods. Data were updated for mortality (through April 2014) and stroke incidence, prevalence, case fatality and severity through 2013. Death was estimated using an ensemble modeling approach. All rates were age-standardized to new GBD estimates of global population.
Age-standardized incidence, mortality, prevalence and DALYs/YLDs declined over the period from 1990 to 2013. However, the absolute number of people affected by stroke has substantially increased across all countries in the world over the same time period, suggesting that the global stroke burden continues to increase. There were significant geographical (country and regional) differences in stroke burden in the world, with the majority of the burden borne by low- and middle-income countries. Global burden of stroke has continued to increase in spite of dramatic declines in age-standardized incidence, prevalence, mortality rates and disability. Population growth and aging have played an important role in the observed increase in stroke burden.