, Volume 260, Issue 2, pp 692-694
Date: 25 Jan 2013

Risk factors and cerebrovascular disease

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Introduction

Worldwide stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of physical disability. They are the second commonest cause of mortality (accounting for 10.8 % of all deaths; WHO, 2011) and the primary reason for admission in a large proportion of hospital inpatients. As a result, it is perhaps not surprising that the financial and social costs arising from CVD, which predominantly relate to subsequent physical care needs, are substantial. The outlook is also far from encouraging, since incidence of CVD is highest in the elderly and the morbidity and costs associated with age-related disorders such as these are likely to continue to mount with the pattern of extended life expectancy observed in Western populations.

Although recent attention has focused on the acute hospital treatment of CVD, and in particular intravenous thrombolysis, even the most effective immediate interventions for ischemic stroke have little impact on overall disability and dependency with