A leading stroke researcher says the aging of the American population means that more people are at risk for stroke, and unless new approaches are developed to reduce stroke incidence, it will surpass heart attacks and cancer as the major cause of long-term disability and premature death.
"…The heart will no longer be the cause of most sudden deaths, leaving behind an ever-growing population of the elderly disabled by stroke and vascular dementia …," writes James F. Toole, M.D., and colleagues from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in an editorial in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Toole, past president of the International Stroke Federation, says using ultrasound to screen people for narrowed arteries in the neck is the best way to identify people at excess risk for stroke. He recommends that men undergo a baseline ultrasound screening of their carotid arteries between the ages of 50 and 60, depending on their overall health. He says that both men and women with diabetes, hypertension or a family history of stroke – all of which increase the risk of stroke – should be screened even earlier.
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
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