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Stroke, Dementia Affect Over 3.4 Billion People Globally, Finds Lancet Study

A Lancet Neurology study has found that neurological conditions like stroke and dementia are the leading cause of health and disability issues, impacting an estimated 3.4 billion people worldwide in 2021.
Over the last 30 years, due to population growth, aging, and various risk factors, cases of neurological diseases and associated deaths have surged. The study indicates a 18% increase in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) due to these conditions, from 375 million years in 1990 to 443 million in 2021.

Stroke, brain injuries in newborns, and migraines top the list of factors contributing to neurological health loss, with COVID-19 related cognitive issues ranking 20th. Tension-type headaches and migraines are the most prevalent disorders, while diabetic neuropathy, linked to the rise in global diabetes, has tripled since 1990.

This extensive analysis, an update to the Global Burden of Diseases study, underscores the need for targeted prevention and treatment strategies, particularly as nervous system conditions have risen by 59% since 1990.

Low- and middle-income countries bear over 80% of neurological deaths and health loss, highlighting vast regional disparities in neurological health. Only a minority of countries allocate a dedicated budget for these conditions or have clinical guidelines.

Neurological disorders cause significant health loss globally, especially in poorer regions plagued with neonatal complications and infections. Increasing infant survival rates alongside limited access to treatment and rehabilitation contribute to the escalating health burden in these areas.

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