Stroke Death Prevention Rate Stalls; Some Rate Increase

On September 6, 2017, the CDC published a report that found that, after more than four decades of decline, progress has slowed in preventing stroke deaths. Not only has progress slowed among most demographic groups and states, stroke death rates have increased among Hispanics and people living in the South.


This report found that the stall in progress was true for three out of four states across the U.S., not just in the stroke belt, a region in the southeastern U.S. that has been recognized by public health authorities for having an unusually high incidence of stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease. The decline in stroke death rates slowed in 38 states (about three out of four states and the District of Columbia) from 2000 through 2015.


While the report did not specifically address the reasons behind the slowdown, other studies pointed to increased numbers of Americans with risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability. Almost 800,000 people have a stroke each year and more than 140,000 die, even though about 80 percent of strokes are preventable.


“These findings are a wakeup call. We’ve made enormous progress in reducing stroke deaths, but that progress has stalled,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “We know the majority of strokes are preventable, and we must improve our efforts to reduce America’s stroke burden.”


The report also found that the rate of stroke death among some populations was increasing. Although blacks have the highest stroke death rates among all races/ethnicities, stroke death rates increased among Hispanics by six percent each year from 2013-2015. Stroke death rates have also increased among people living in the South, where significant declines from year to year changed to significant increases during 2013–2015.


See the CDC Announcement


See the CDC Report


See also Medical Law Perspectives Report: Stroke: Challenges, Risks, and Liability Issues


See also Medical Law Perspectives Report: The New Oral Contraceptives: Stroke and Other Adverse Event Liability