(HealthDay News) – A combination of factors, including public health programs and clinical interventions designed to reduce cardiovascular risks, has contributed to the decline in stroke mortality in the United States, according to a statement from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association published online Dec. 5 in Stroke.

Daniel T. Lackland, DrPH, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues reviewed material from various sources, including the medical literature, morbidity and mortality reports, guidelines, and expert opinions, to summarize evidence related to the prevention and treatment of stroke.

The researchers found a major decline in stroke mortality for both men and women, for all racial/ethnic groups, and all age groups, particularly individuals younger than 65 years. The decline in stroke mortality was attributed to reduced incidence of stroke and reduced rates of case fatality. Interventions to reduce cardiovascular risk, particularly control of hypertension, appear to have had a strong influence on the rapid decline in stroke deaths. Other factors contributing to the decline include control of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia and smoking cessation programs, particularly in combination with treatment of hypertension.

“The continued application of aggressive evidence-based public health programs and clinical interventions is expected to result in further declines in stroke mortality,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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