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Daily Dose: Global Deaths from Ischemic Stroke May Reach 5 Million by 2030


Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

On May 19, 2023, we reported on a study published in Neurology that analyzed the current and predicted global disease burden of ischemic stroke (IS) including identification of populations at high risk as well as attributable risk factors.

The study

Researchers analyzed data from the Global Health Data Exchange from 1990 to 2019, and specifically looked at mortality and disability-adjusted life years of IS among different ages, genders, and risk factors in 204 countries and territories.

The findings

Investigators found that as population grew, the global number of IS deaths increased from 2.04 million in 1990 to 3.29 million in 2019. The stroke rate, however, decreased from 66 strokes per 100 000 persons in 1990 to 44 strokes per 100 000 persons in 2019.

Researchers identified the following 7 risk factors for IS:

  • Smoking

  • A diet high in sodium

  • High systolic blood pressure

  • Increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol

  • Kidney dysfunction

  • High fasting blood sugar levels

  • Having a high body mass index

In addition, investigators used the data from the Global Health Data Exchange to predict the number of IS deaths for 2020-2030. They observed that the global number of IS deaths is expected to increase further to 4.90 million by 2030. When authors factored in the 7 risk factors, they estimated that the overall number of IS deaths could reach 6.4 million if the risk factors are not controlled or prevented.

Clinical implications

“Our findings have implications for the allocation of care resources, health care planning, and the development and implementation of primary prevention interventions for stroke that require support from data, primarily including the reduction of metabolic risk factors (eg, blood glucose and weight screening and management) and behavioral risk factors (eg, smoking cessation and improving poor dietary habits). In addition, at the national level, the reduction of poverty and racial and socioeconomic inequalities through appropriate measures, such as legislation and taxation, will be important to reduce cardiovascular disease, as well as other non-communicable diseases."

Click here for more details.

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