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Trends in Demographic and Geographic Disparities in Stroke Mortality Among Older Adults in the United States.

World Neurosurgery 2024 Februrary 24
BACKGROUND: Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States (US) among older adults. However, the impact of demographic and geographic risk factors remains ambiguous. A clear understanding of these associations and updated trends in stroke mortality can influence health policies and interventions.

METHODS: This study characterizes stroke mortality among older adults (age ≥ 55) in the US from January 1999 to December 2020, sourcing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-Ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research. Segmented regression was used to analyze trends in crude mortality rate (CMR) and age-adjusted mortality rate (AAMR) per 100,000 individuals stratified by stroke subcategory, sex, ethnicity, urbanization, and state.

RESULTS: 3,691,305 stroke deaths occurred in older adults in the US between 1999 and 2020 (AAMR = 233.3), with an overall decrease in AAMR during these years. The highest mortality rates were seen in non-specified stroke (AAMR = 173.5), those 85 or older (CMR = 1276.7), men (AAMR = 239.2), non-Hispanic African American adults (AAMR = 319.0), and noncore populations (AAMR = 276.1). Stroke mortality decreased in all states from 1999 to 2019 with the greatest and least decreases seen in California (-61.9%) and Mississippi (-35.0%), respectively. The COVID-19 pandemic saw increased stroke deaths in most groups.

CONCLUSIONS: While there's a decline in stroke-related deaths among US older adults, outcome disparities remain across demographic and geographic sectors. The surge in stroke deaths during COVID-19 reaffirms the need for policies that address these disparities.

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