HealthDay News — The incidence of all strokes decreased over time in men, but not women, with the difference driven by a decrease in ischemic stroke, according to a study published online in Neurology.

Tracy E. Madsen, MD, from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI, and colleagues ascertained all incident strokes among residents ≥20 years, within a population of 1.3 million, at all hospitals during July 1993 to June 1994, and calendar years 1999, 2005, and 2010, and used a sampling scheme to ascertain out-of-hospital cases.

The researchers identified 7710 incident strokes over the four study periods; 57.2% were in women. Women were significantly older than men at the time of incident stroke (72.4 ± 0.34 vs 68.2 ± 0.32; P <.001). Over time, the incidence of all strokes decreased in men (263-192; P <.001), but not in women (217-198; P =.15). For ischemic stroke, similar sex differences were observed (men: 238-165; P <.01; women: 193-173; P =.09). 

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In 2010, the incidence of all strokes and of ischemic strokes was similar for men and women. Over time, the incidence of intracerebral hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage was stable in both men and women.

“Future research is needed to understand why the decrease in ischemic stroke incidence is more pronounced in men,” the authors wrote.

Disclosures: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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Madsen TE, Khoury J, Alwell K, et al. Sex-specific stroke incidence over time in the greater Cincinnati/northern Kentucky stroke study [published online August 9, 2017]. Neurology. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000004325