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, 37 (2), 345-50

The Lifetime Risk of Stroke: Estimates From the Framingham Study


The Lifetime Risk of Stroke: Estimates From the Framingham Study

Sudha Seshadri et al. Stroke.


Background and purpose: The lifetime risk (LTR) of stroke has not been reported for the United States population; such data would assist public education and health planning.

Methods: Framingham Original cohort participants (n=4897) who were stroke- and dementia-free at 55 years of age were followed biennially for up to 51 years (115 146 person years). We estimated the sex-specific 10-, 20-, and 30-year risks and LTR of developing a stroke by baseline age and blood pressure (BP) and compared it with the risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD).

Results: A total of 875 participants (522 women) developed a first-ever stroke; 749 (448 women) had an ischemic stroke. LTR of stroke was high and remained similar at ages 55, 65, and 75 years, approximating 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 6 for men. Participants with a normal BP (<120/80 mm Hg) had approximately half the LTR of stroke compared with those with high BP (> or =140/90 mm Hg). The LTR of AD at age 65 (292 participants; 211 women) approximated 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men. The LTR of developing either stroke or dementia approximated 1 in 3 in both sexes.

Conclusions: The LTR of stroke in middle-aged adults is 1 in 6 or more, which is equal to or greater than the LTR of AD. Women had a higher risk because of longer life expectancy. BP is a significant determinant of the LTR of stroke, and promotion of normal BP levels in the community might be expected to substantially reduce this risk.

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