Updated Guidelines Include New Research, Advances in Stroke Prevention

Cheryl D. Bushnell, MD, M.H.S. et al

Healthy lifestyle choices and emergency room interventions can help prevent first-time strokes, according to revised American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines.

The guidelines, last updated in 2006, will be published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

"Between 1999 and 2006, there's been over a 30 percent reduction in stroke death rates in the United States and we think the majority of the reduction is coming from better prevention," said Larry B. Goldstein, M.D., chairman of the statement writing committee and director of the Duke Stroke Center in Durham, N.C.

Prior to this, the incidence of stroke may have been increasing, according to the statement that cites a 39 percent rise in hospitalizations between 1988 and 1997. As the population continues to age, the total number of Americans having a stroke is expected to rise.

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