The Turku Stroke Register included stroke events at all ages during the years 1982-1992. The incidence of stroke declined in all age groups, even in the oldest one. An even steeper decline was observed in mortality from stroke. Ischemic strokes contributed most to the observed decline, while subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage showed mainly flat trends. Flat trends were also observed for recurrent strokes. The absolute number of strokes remained stable through the study years, but the population above 75 years of age doubled. More than half of the strokes occurred in people aged 75 years or older, and three fourths of them occurred in women. The incidence and mortality rate of ischemic stroke declined steeply in all age groups. Due to an increase in elderly people in the background population, the total number of strokes remained stable. Thus, in spite of the observed declining trends in incidence, the need for stroke care has not diminished.
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