Predicting stroke

A study in Spain is focusing on which inflammatory markers may be indicators of possible recurrence among previous stroke sufferers. Reseachers hope to find conclusively whether current medications actually decrease inflammation and whether this itself reduces the likelihood of another stroke or a heart attack (more here).

Stroke is the 3rd highest cause of death in Spain–first among women–and the cause of “more disabilities and premature deaths that…Alzheimer’s disease and traffic accidents put together.” Interesting juxtaposition of numbers, since those same statements held true in the U.S. according to 2002 figures.

Curious that in the U.S., a person’s level of education has an inverse relationship to the frequency of having been diagnosed with hypertension and stroke (stats here).

Well, it’s nice to know we’re checking on whether the treatments we’re giving are making any difference. Such studies don’t always tell us we’ve been doing the right thing.