Stroke deaths in England HALVED in a decade – but rates are rising in people under 55 years of age

Scientists have revealed that the number of people dying from a stroke in England has halved in ten years.

Researchers at the University of Oxford found that the death rate of a stroke had fallen by around 55 percent in the first ten years of the 21st century.

Better NHS care is likely to contribute to the chances of survival of stroke patients, the experts suggest.

However, the research has also shown that the number of strokes – a common cause of death – has increased by 20 percent in people younger than 55 years.

A research expert told MailOnline that this was probably due to rising rates of obesity and diabetes, as well as cocaine and alcohol use.

The number of people dying of a stroke has halved in a decade, scientists have revealed, but the figures of the event are rising below 55

The number of people dying of a stroke has halved in a decade, scientists have revealed, but the figures of the event are rising below 55

A graph shows stroke events and deaths from strokes in both men and women decreased in England between 2001 and 2010

A graph shows stroke events and deaths from strokes in both men and women decreased in England between 2001 and 2010

A graph shows stroke events and deaths from strokes in both men and women decreased in England between 2001 and 2010

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted or when a blood vessel ruptures.

Principal investigator Dr. Olena Seminog said: & # 39; We could only speculate about the reasons for an increased success rate among young people.

& # 39; But we think it's the increase in obesity and diabetes, as well as a non-traditional risk factor, including drug abuse, such as cocaine and alcohol. & # 39;

Researchers analyzed data from 950,000 strokes that took place in England between 2001 and 2010.

Patients were all 20 years of age or older and had been admitted to hospital with a stroke or died of a stroke during the course of time.

Of the nearly one million strokes of 800,000 people, 337,000 resulted in death, the study revealed.

The average age at the start of a stroke was 72 for men and 76 for women. The ages were slightly higher for deaths in both sexes.


The best way to help prevent a stroke is by eating healthily, exercising regularly and smoking too much and drinking too much alcohol.

These lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of problems such as:

  • arteries become clogged with fatty substances (atherosclerosis)
  • high bloodpressure
  • high cholesterol


An unhealthy diet can increase your chances of having a stroke, as this can lead to an increase in your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

A low-fat, high-fiber diet is usually recommended, including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (5 A day) and whole grain.

You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6 g (0.2 oz) per day because too much salt raises your blood pressure: 6 g of salt is about 1 teaspoon.


Regular exercise can maintain a healthy weight and help lower your cholesterol and keep your blood pressure healthy.

For most people it is recommended to do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate intensity aerobic activities, such as cycling or speed walking, every week.

Stop smoking

Smoking significantly increases the risk of stroke. This is because it narrows your veins and causes your blood to clot faster.

Reduce alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and cause an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation), both of which can increase the risk of stroke.

Because alcoholic drinks contain many calories, they also cause weight gain. Heavy drinking multiplies the risk of stroke by more than 3 times

Source: NHS

In men, the mortality rates dropped from 140 per 100,000 in 2001 to 74 per 100,000 in 2010, the researchers wrote in the BMJ.

And the percentage for women fell from 128 per 100,000 in 2001 to 72 per 100,000 in 2010.

The largest annual reduction was between the ages of 65 and 74, with a decrease of 8.1 percent among men in that age group and 8.3 percent among women.

Stroke deaths have been worldwide for decades, but the exact reasons are unclear.

It was unclear whether the reduction was due to a decrease in the number of strokes, the number that died, or a combination of both.

The researchers found that most of the decline – 78 percent in men and 66 percent in women – was due to a decrease in the number of fatalities, which fell by 40 percent in all age groups.

Dr. Olena Seminog, from the Big Data Institute of the University of Oxford, said the remaining 22 percent and 34 percent respectively were the result of a fall in event rates, which fell by a total of 20 percent.

Dr. Seminog said: & # 39; Our findings show that most reduction in stroke mortality is the result of an improved survival of stroke patients. & # 39;

The findings indicate that while prevention was effective in reducing stroke incidents in the elderly, it did not work in the youth.

Dr. Seminog said: & # 39; It is possible that doctors are less inclined to pay attention to the risk factors in people under 55 years of age.

& # 39; The other important issue here is that traditional stroke is seen as a disease of old age, rightly so, because most of the strokes happen to people 80 years of age or older.

& # 39; As a result, young people may not think about how their lifestyles could increase the risk of stroke and abuse alcohol and drugs.

& # 39; They may have little knowledge of risks & signals of a stroke. & # 39;

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is a warning that a person is likely to have a complete stroke in the near future, as little as two weeks.

But many younger people scrub the symptoms of TIA, including tingling face and hands, blurred vision, and confusion, Dr. Seminog said.

Mark McDonald, deputy director of Policy and Influencing at the Stroke Association, said: & Stroke can affect anyone – young, old and anyone in between.

& # 39; In the UK, one in four strokes happens to people of working age, and in general, people have strokes earlier in their lives. & # 39;


There are two types of strokes:


An ischemic stroke – which accounts for 80 percent of the strokes – occurs when there is a blockage in a blood vessel that prevents blood from reaching a part of the brain.


The rarer a hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts, a part of the brain overflows with blood, and robs other areas with adequate blood supply.

It can be the result of an AVM or arteriovenous malformation (an abnormal cluster of blood vessels) in the brain.

Thirty percent of patients suffering from subarachnoid hemorrhage die before they reach the hospital. Another 25 percent die within 24 hours. And 40 percent of the survivors die within a week.


Age, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, family history and the history of a previous stroke or TIA are all risk factors for stroke.


  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding
  • Sudden problems with seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause


Of the approximately three out of four people who survive a stroke, many will have a lifelong disability.

This includes difficulty walking, communicating, eating and completing everyday tasks or chores.


Both are potentially fatal and patients need surgery or a drug called tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) within three hours to save them.

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