Stroke death down in Auckland, New Zealand

Dec. 11, 2006 at 9:35 PM
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AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- There has been a 40-percent decline in the deaths after stroke in the total population of Auckland, New Zealand, in the past 25 years, a report finds.

The improved stroke survival rate was associated with an increase in hospital admission and brain imaging during the most severe phase of the illness, according to the report by The George Institute for International Health, in collaboration with Auckland City Hospital and The University of Auckland.

However, as the death rate declines, there has been a significant increase in the number of patients with an impaired level of consciousness and motor deficits following stroke, according to Dr. Kristie Carter, a research fellow for the study.

"We found that a person's level of consciousness at the time of stroke, age and history of pre-morbid dependency, were strong predictors of survival," said Carter.

The increased survivability of those with stroke puts an additional burden on resources, both family and community, and more needs to be done in preventing strokes and implementing evidence-based management and rehabilitation strategies, according to the report.

The findings are published in the Cerebrovascular Diseases journal.

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