Global stroke burden largely due to preventable risk factors
medwireNews: More than 90% of the global stroke burden is attributable to modifiable risk factors and with behavioural and metabolic risk factors making the greatest contribution, controlling these could avert more than three-quarters of this burden.
The findings come from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013, which looked at stroke-related disability-adjusted life–years (DALYs) across 188 countries during 1990–2013.
Behavioural factors, including smoking, poor diet and low physical activity, made the biggest contribution to stroke-related DALYs, at 74.2%, followed by metabolic risk factors, at 72.4%, and environmental factors at 33.4%.
Valery Feigin (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand) and team note that air pollution accounted for 29.2% of burden globally, emerging as a significant contributor for the first time, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
The contribution of all risk factors has increased from 1990 to 2013, except for second-hand smoke and household air pollution, and there is considerable variation between countries.
The team therefore believes their findings could inform priorities for stroke prevention from the global to the national level.
“For example, reducing exposure to air pollution should be one of the main priorities to reduce stroke burden in low-income and middle-income countries, whereas reduction of behavioural risks should be the main priority in high-income countries”, they write in The Lancet Neurology.
By Lucy Piper
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