Author(s): Struijs JN
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In the near future, the number of stroke patients and their related healthcare costs are expected to rise. The purpose of this study was to estimate this expected increase in stroke patients in the Netherlands. We sought to determine what the future developments in the number of stroke patients due to demographic changes and trends in the prevalence of smoking and hypertension in terms of the prevalence, incidence, and potential years of life lost might be.
METHODS: A dynamic, multistate life table was used, which combined demographic projections and existing stroke morbidity and mortality data. It projected future changes in the number of stroke patients in several scenarios for the Dutch population for the period 2000 to 2020. The model calculated the annual number of new patients by age and sex by using incidence rates, defined by age, sex, and major risk factors. The change in the annual number of stroke patients is the result of incident cases minus mortality numbers.
RESULTS: Demographic changes in the population suggest an increase of 27% in number of stroke patients per 1000 in 2020 compared with 2000. Extrapolating past trends in the prevalence of smoking behavior, hypertension, and stroke incidence resulted in an increase of 4%.
CONCLUSIONS: The number of stroke patients in the Netherlands will rise continuously until the year 2020. Our study demonstrates that a large part of this increase in the number of patients is an inevitable consequence of the aging of the population.International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation