A recent study has provided updated data on the prevalence of stroke among community-dwelling individuals in the US. The study, which used data from the 1999 to 2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), found that the prevalence of self-reported stroke remained stable between 1999 and 2018 overall and by racial and ethnic group and age group, but increased among men. The findings were published in JAMA Neurology.
The study, which included over 2,000 participants aged 20 years and older, found that the overall crude and age-standardised prevalence of stroke was 2.84% and 3.10%, respectively. This corresponds to an estimated 7.3 million affected individuals. The age-standardised prevalence of stroke was higher among non-Hispanic Black individuals compared with other racial and ethnic groups and was similar by sex.
The study’s authors noted that their estimates underestimate the total burden of stroke in the US, as the NHANES does not include individuals residing in rehabilitation, long-term care, or other institutional settings. Furthermore, stroke was self-reported in NHANES, which has a modest positive predictive value; it is possible that the validity of self-reported stroke has changed over time.
Overall, the study provides important information for public health interventions and resource allocation. The stable prevalence of stroke in recent years suggests that efforts to prevent and manage stroke have been effective. However, the increase in stroke prevalence among men highlights the need for continued attention to this important public health issue.