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Federal agency releases information on strokes

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released some statistics about stroke rates over the last several years.

Strokes are frequently caused by blood clots breaking off and traveling to the brain. According to the Mayo Clinic, risk factors for blood clots include a family history of clots, long periods of immobility, pregnancy and use of birth control pills.

While most birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, numerous studies indicate that pills containing the compound drospirenone carry up to three times the risk compared to other oral contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yasmin, Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.

The CDC  information comes from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a phone survey of people 18 years of age and older throughout the United States. According to the survey’s findings:

  • In 2008, stroke was the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States, and stroke was a leading cause of long-term severe disability.
  • Nearly half of older stroke survivors experience moderate to severe disability.
  • Care for stroke survivors cost an estimated $18.8 billion in the United States during 2008, and lost productivity and premature mortality cost an additional $15.5 billion.
  • Age-adjusted prevalence of stroke was 2.7 percent in 2006 and 2.6 percent in 2010.
  • Among racial/ethnic groups, age-adjusted prevalence was highest among American Indians/Alaska natives and lowest among Asians, native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Age-adjusted prevalence was higher among adults with a lower level of education compared with those with a higher level of education. From 2006 to 2010, no statistically significant change in stroke prevalence was observed among women or among any particular age group, race/ethnicity, or level of education.
  • For men, prevalence declined from 2.8 percent in 2006 to 2.5 percent in 2009, and then increased to 2.7 percent in 2010.
  • In 2006, age-adjusted stroke prevalence ranged from 1.8 percent (Colorado, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Vermont) to 4.4 percent (Alabama).
  • In 2010, age-adjusted stroke prevalence ranged from 1.5 percent in Connecticut to 4.1 percent in Alabama.
  • From 2006 to 2010, only two states had a significant decline in stroke prevalence: Georgia, from 3.3 percent to 2.8 percent, and South Dakota, from 2.2 percent to 1.8 percent.
  • In 2010, the states with higher stroke prevalence generally were states in the southeastern United States and Nevada.

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.

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