The decline in stroke mortality: Exploration of future trends in 7 Western European Countries
Background and Purpose-This article aims to make projections of future trends in stroke mortality in the Year 2030 based on recent trends in stroke mortality in 7 Western European countries. Methods-Mortality data were obtained from national cause of death registries. Annual rates of decline in stroke mortality of 1980 to 2005 were determined for men and women in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, and 4 Nordic countries on the basis of regression analysis. Estimated rates of decline were extrapolated until 2030. Cause-elimination life tables were used to determine the effect of stroke in 2030 in terms of potential gain in life expectancy. The absolute numbers of stroke deaths in 2030 were estimated using national population projections of Eurostat. Results-In all countries, stroke mortality rates declined incessantly until 2005 among both men and women. If these trends were to continue, age-adjusted mortality rates would decline by approximately half between 2005 and 2030 with larger declines in France (approximately two thirds) and smaller declines in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden (approximately one fourth). Similar rates of decline would be observed in terms of potential gain in life expectancy. Because of population aging, the absolute number of stroke deaths would decline slowly in the United Kingdom and France and stabilize or even increase in other countries. Conclusions-In the near future, stroke may lose much of its effects on life expectancy but remain a frequent cause of death among elderly populations. The prevention of stroke-related disability instead of mortality may become increasingly more important.