The Journal of the American Medical Association released results from an ongoing research project monitoring the rates of strokes and stroke fatalities in the U.S. earlier this week and the results are perhaps better than anticipated.
From 1987 to 2011, researchers monitored 15,792 people between the ages of 45 to 64 from various locations in Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina.
After crunching nearly 25 years worth of data, they found that seven percent of people suffered a first stroke and 58 percent of these people ultimately died. However, they also determined that these rates fell by 24 percent and 20 percent respectively over the course of each decade.
The findings of the JAMA study coincide with national statistics showing a distinct drop in the number of fatal strokes in the last several years.
As for the reasons behind the precipitous drop in strokes among the older people observed in the study, the researchers attribute this to both advances in modern medicine and greater health awareness, such as improved management of blood pressure/cholesterol.
It wasn't all good news, however, as the study also found no significant decline in stroke rates among the younger study participants.
This is significant, said the researchers, given that both the rates of obesity and diabetes are on the rise among this demographic, suggesting that while stroke rates are relatively stagnant now, they could be headed toward a spike in the near future.
Above all else, the researchers urged people of all age groups to "know their numbers" (blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc.), and to either make the necessary lifestyle changes or seek medical treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strokes -- whether caused by blood clots or burst blood vessels -- are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and one of the major causes of disability.
Those who have been unfortunate enough to suffer a disabling stroke here in Texas and are now struggling to make ends meet should strongly consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about their rights and options concerning Social Security disability benefits.
Source: USA Today, "Stroke rates and deaths fall in large U.S. study," Kim Painter, July 15, 2014