How statins are helping more stroke victims survive
London - Thousands more patients each year are surviving strokes and escaping disability, a study suggests.
Experts say statins, specialist stroke units and greater use of clot-busting drugs are responsible for saving lives.
The risk of someone who has a stroke dying has fallen 24 percent in a generation, a study of more than 3 000 stroke patients from south London found.
Between 2000 and 2003, almost a third of people died in the year after suffering the most common type of stroke, but this fell to just one in five between 2012 and 2015.
Across the globe, the figures would mean 6 300 fewer people a year are dying from an ischaemic stroke – caused by a bloodclot cutting off oxygen to the brain.
The risk of being left disabled by a stroke fell by 23 percent in south London between 2000 and 2015, suggesting more than 3 200 people in the UK are escaping disability.
The study found people may recover better because they have less severe strokes, as smoking is less popular and more people with high cholesterol take statins.
But treatment has also improved, with the ratio of patients getting bloodclot-busting drugs within the crucial three hours of suffering a stroke rising from two percent in 2000-2003 to 16 percent in 2012-2015.
Study author Dr Yanzhong Wang, of King’s College London, said: "Alongside our previous work showing a reduction in the rate of strokes, it shows that, although there is more to do, trends are moving in the right direction."