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  • Global Stroke Burden Increasing

    In what its authors describe as the first study of its kind, the burden of stroke was found to be a growing global issue, with a 25% increase in the number of strokes suffered by adults aged 20-64 around the world, and disparities among higher and lower-income countries.

    The study, published in The Lancet (free one-time registration required) this month, states that the rise in strokes among younger populations will put increased burdens on countries throughout the world, albeit at rates that more heavily impact lower-income countries. The increases need to be addressed through greater awareness of risk factors and preventive measures, according to the authors, and further study is needed to examine the causes for disparities in stroke burden among countries with varying levels of income.

    The researchers included 119 studies (58 from high-income countries and 61 from low- and middle-income countries), published between 1990 and 2010. They applied the analytical technique from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 to calculate estimates of stroke incidence, prevalence, mortality, and disability-adjusted life-years lost by age group and country income level.

    The authors also write that the numbers point to a "need for health-care services … to pay more attention to provision of stroke chronic care (including prevention of secondary stroke)" and the incorporation of "community rehabilitation, including self-managed rehabilitation strategies." APTA offers resources to physical therapists (PTs), including a podcast, around care of patients with limitations in functioning after a stroke, and has created a PT's "guide to stroke" and pocket guide to physical fitness for survivors of stroke at its Move Forward website.

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