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Stroke. 2019 Jun;50(6):1558-1560. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025171. Epub 2019 May 14.

Temporal Trends in Ischemic Stroke Incidence in Younger Adults in the Framingham Study.

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From the Boston University School of Medicine, MA (H.J.A., J.J.H., C.L.S., J.R.R., C.S.K., A.S.B., S.S.).
Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio (C.L.S., S.S.).
The Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia (M.P.P.).
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Australia (M.P.P.).
Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorne, Australia (M.P.P.).
Department of Neurology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA (C.S.K.).


Background and Purpose- Stroke at midlife has a disproportionately large impact on disability-adjusted life-years lost. Ischemic stroke incidence may be increasing at this age. We investigated long-term trends in ischemic stroke incidence and changes in stroke risk factors in a community sample stratified by stroke onset at middle and older age. Methods- In the Framingham Study, surveillance for incident stroke is ongoing since 1948. We examined age-adjusted and sex-adjusted 10-year incidence of ischemic stroke using Cox models in persons aged 35 to 54 and ≥55 years at start of follow-up. Tests for linear trend were performed over 4 epochs, controlling for the distance in time between intervals. Further, we calculated the mean 10-year risk of stroke at each epoch and for both age groups, based on vascular risk factors from the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile. Results- There were 153, 197, 176, and 165 incident ischemic strokes within each epoch beginning in 1962 (n=3966), 1971 (n=5779), 1987 (n=5133), and 1998 (n=6964). Most ischemic strokes at midlife (n=71) were because of atherosclerotic brain infarction (n=50) or cardioembolism (n=19). Using the risk in the 1962 epoch as the reference, the risk of ischemic stroke at midlife did not significantly decline (hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.74-1.02; P trend =0.09). Incidence of ischemic stroke declined in the older group (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.77-0.88; P trend <0.001). Between epochs 1 and 4, the average 10-year risk of stroke, as estimated by the Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, declined by 0.7% at midlife and 1.1% at older age. Conclusions- Long-term rates of ischemic stroke declined in our community sample; the decline was greater in older as compared with younger adults. Early prevention, focused on modification of cardiovascular risk factors, is important to see sustained declines in stroke incidence and mortality at midlife.


atrial fibrillation; brain infarction; cerebrovascular disorders; epidemiology; risk factors

[Available on 2020-06-01]

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