Thursday, February 02, 2006

Will you have a stroke?

The estimates for lifetime risk (LTR) of stroke has been reported for the United States population based on data from the Framingham study.

Lifetime risk was the same at ages 55, 65, and 75 years for study participants:

1 in 5 for women,
1 in 6 for men.

Participants with a normal BP, less than 120/80, had approximately half the LTR of stroke compared with those with high BP,140/90 mm Hg.

The LTR of Alzheimer's disease at age 65 approximated 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men.

The LTR of developing either stroke or dementia approximated 1 in 3 in both sexes.

Conclusion:
  1. The LTR of stroke in middle-aged adults is 1 in 6 or more, which is equal to or greater than the LTR of Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Women had a higher risk because of longer life expectancy.
  3. BP is a significant determinant of the LTR of stroke, and promotion of normal BP levels in the community might be expected to substantially reduce this risk.

As hypertension is the BIG risk factor for stroke, Americans should closely monitor their numbers. Sure, it's nice that life expectancy has increased, but it's the quality that counts. Here are the latest blood pressure guidelines: follow them to make sure your later years are healthy ones.

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