TUESDAY, Oct. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — In the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, the decrease in stroke rates reported for 1987 to 2011 extended to 2017, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in JAMA Neurology.

Silvia Koton, Ph.D., R.N., from Tel Aviv University in Israel, and colleagues examined data from the ARIC study to examine whether stroke incidence declines among older adults continued after 2011. Data were included for 14,357 ARIC participants who were free of stroke at baseline, with 326,654 person-years of follow-up.

The researchers found that 1,340 incident strokes occurred among ARIC participants from 1987 to 2017; among them, 76.7 percent occurred in participants aged 65 years and older. For participants aged 65 years and older, crude incidence rates of stroke decreased progressively from 1987 to 2017. After adjustment for age, sex, race/center, and time-varying risk factors, incidence rates decreased by 32 percent per 10 years in participants aged 65 years and older. Across decades, sex, and race, the findings were consistent.

“The ARIC population includes only white and black individuals and the cohort ages with time; therefore, no new information for individuals younger than 65 years is available on this age group for the most recent years,” the authors write. “The decline observed in rates of incident stroke among individuals 65 years and older is reassuring; nevertheless, as result of the aging of the population, stroke continues to pose an important global burden.”

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