The number of deaths worldwide from ischemic stroke increased from 2 million in 1990 to more than 3 million in 2019, and is expected to increase to nearly 5 million by 2030, according to a study.
Ischemic stroke is caused by a blockage of blood flow to the brain and is the most common type of stroke.
“This increase in the global death toll of ischemic stroke along with a predicted further increase in the future is concerning, but ischemic stroke is highly preventable,” said Lize Xiong, from Tongji University in Shanghai, China.
“Our results suggest that a combination of lifestyle factors like smoking and a diet high in sodium along with other factors such as high blood pressure and high body mass index can lead to an increased risk of stroke,” Xiong added.
The study was published in the medical journal Neurology.
For the study, researchers analysed data from the Global Health Data Exchange, from 1990-2019.
As the world population grew, the global number of ischemic stroke deaths increased from 2.04 million in 1990 to 3.29 million in 2019.
However, the stroke rate decreased from 66 strokes per 100,000 people in 1990 to 44 strokes per 100,000 people in 2019.
“This decrease in the stroke rate likely means that the overall increase in the number of strokes worldwide is mainly due to population growth and ageing,” Xiong said.
Researchers found that seven major risk factors including smoking, a diet high in sodium, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney dysfunction, high blood sugar, and high BMI contributed to the higher number of strokes.
Researchers then used the database to predict the number of deaths for 2020-2030.
They found that the death toll for ischemic stroke is expected to increase further to 4.9 million in 2030.
When researchers factored in the risk factors, they predicted that the overall number of deaths from stroke could reach 6.4 million if these risk factors are not controlled or prevented.
A limitation of the study was that quality and accuracy of disease data from some countries cannot be guaranteed as many did not have reliable information on strokes.