Stroke is the most common neurologic disease and the leading cause of adult disability in Western countries. The number of patients affected by stroke will increase by the effect of aging. Mainly due to increased life expectancy, the proportion of individuals over 65 years in the L'Aquila district showed an increase of 18.3% in a 10 years period (1981-1991). Among the resident population, in a five-year period (1994-1998) we collected all the patients with a first-ever stroke, and we found high crude and standardized (European population 1996) incidence rates. There was a significant correlation between crude and standardized incidence rates and proportion of individuals aged 65 and over, suggesting that the high incidence was due to an increased stroke risk linked to aging. As a cosequence, the number of subjects with atherosclerotic comorbidity will increase and the quality of life will worsen.
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