Rates of Conditions that Up Stroke Risk Continue to Rise
From 2004 to 2014, most of the more than 900,000 people hospitalized for stroke in the United States had at least one known stroke risk factor. According to a study published in Neurology, about 80 percent of strokes that occurred during that time period were due to controllable risk factors - including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, illicit drug use, and diabetes. Nonetheless, the number of Americans at increased risk for stroke continues to climb across all age groups and ethnicities.
Despite increased public health efforts to prevent, screen for, and treat conditions that increase stroke risk, researchers continue to see a widespread uptick in the number of stroke patients with one or more of these conditions. One of the most surprising – and alarming – findings of this recent study was that about 50 percent of Hispanic and 44 percent of African-American stroke patients also had diabetes.