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New research, published in the European Heart Journal has shown deaths from conditions that affect the blood supply to the brain, such as stroke, are declining overall in Europe but that in some countries the decline is levelling off or death rates are even increasing.

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Cerebrovascular disease includes strokes, mini-strokes, and narrowing, blockage or rupturing of the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain, and it is the second single largest cause of death in Europe after heart disease, accounting for 9% of deaths in men and 12% of deaths in women each year.

The researchers from the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford, the University of Bath, University of Edinburgh, and Deakin University, Australia, used data from the World Health Organization (WHO) to examine mortality trends in three particular types of cerebrovascular disease in Europe for 37 years between 1980 and 2016: ischaemic stroke (a lack of blood flow to the brain), haemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain) and sub-arachnoid haemorrhage (SAH), in which bleeding occurs between the brain and the surrounding membrane. Not all countries had data available for the full 37 years.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)