High blood pressure and diabetes are known risk factors for stroke, but recent new research shows that the amount of risk may decrease as you get older. Published in the online version on the 18th. neurology®the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
“High blood pressure and diabetes are two important risk factors for stroke that can be managed with medication to reduce a person’s risk,” said study author George Howard, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama’s School of Public Health at Birmingham. “Our findings indicate that the association with stroke risk may be significantly lower with age, whereas other risk factors do not change with age. These differences in risk factors” means that decisions about whether a person is at increased risk of stroke may vary from age to year.”
The study involved 28,235 people who had never had a stroke. Of this group, 41% were black and he was 59% white. Participants were followed for an average of 11 years.
At the beginning of the study, participants were interviewed and underwent a physical examination to assess risk factors. Risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, atrial fibrillation, heart disease, and left ventricular hypertrophy, which is a thickening of the left ventricle of the heart. Ethnicity was also considered as part of the risk factors evaluated, Howard added, as it is well known that blacks are at higher risk of stroke.
Researchers followed participants every six months and reviewed medical records to confirm stroke.
During the study, there were 1,405 strokes in 276,074 person-years. Person-years represent both the number of people who participated in the study and the time each person spent on the study.
Participants were divided into three age groups and compared. The age ranges of these groups varied slightly depending on the data analyzed by the researchers. In general, the younger group included participants aged 45 to her 69, the intermediate group included those in his late 60s to her 70s, and the older group included those in his included people aged 74 and over.
Researchers found that young people with diabetes are about twice as likely to have a stroke than people of the same age without diabetes, and older people with diabetes have about a 30% higher risk of stroke. discovered. more stroke than similar older people without diabetes.
The researchers also found that people with high blood pressure in the younger age group had an 80% higher risk of stroke than their age peers without high blood pressure, and the risk dropped to 50% in older people with high blood pressure. Group compared to age-matched people without hypertension.
Additionally, when the researchers looked at race as a risk factor, they found that black participants in younger age groups had a higher risk of stroke compared to white participants in that group. The older the age group, the smaller the racial difference. Risk factors for stroke such as smoking, atrial fibrillation, and left ventricular hypertrophy did not change with age.
“It is important to note that our results do not suggest that treatment of hypertension and diabetes becomes less important in older age. However, physicians may also be wise to focus on managing risk factors such as atrial fibrillation, smoking, and left ventricular hypertrophy with age.”
Howard also pointed out that even though the impact of risk factors diminishes with age, the overall risk of stroke increases with age, so the total number of people with stroke at an older age may still be high. Among young people with high blood pressure, researchers estimate that about 2.0% of those with normotension had a stroke, compared with 3.6% of those with hypertension. Among the elderly, about 6.2% of those with normal blood pressure had a stroke, while he had 9.3% of those with hypertension.
A limitation of the study was that participants’ risk factors were assessed only once at the beginning of the study, and they may have changed over time.
This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the National Institute on Aging.