Accidents Replace Stroke as 4th Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

Nothing to do with accidents

Nothing to do with accidents

For most of my medical career, stroke was the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer. Just a few years ago, chronic lower respiratory tract disease surpassed stroke.

Stroke continues to fall in rank and fell recently to fifth place, overtaken by accidents (unintentional injuries).

Even non-fatal strokes can be devastating.

Reduce your risk of stroke by maintaining normal blood pressure, not smoking, exercise regularly, living at a healthy weight, limiting your alcohol consumption, don’t get diabetes, and limit your age to 55. It’s also important to seek medical attention if you have a TIA (transient ischemic attack).

I wouldn’t be surprised if the paleo diet helps prevent stroke, but we don’t have much evidence yet.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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2 responses to “Accidents Replace Stroke as 4th Leading Cause of Death in U.S.

  1. Supposedly, increased saturated fat intake = less chance of “stroke” (and there are two types of strokes, blood clots and bleeding/bleed through). At least if you believe Malcolm Kendrick and his The Great Cholesterol Con and data from Japan. So, to the extent that Paleo increases saturated fat intake beyond whatever the original diet was, there is a chance that Paleo is beneficial in terms of stroke. We’d need some well designed studies to prove or disprove this, but since saturated fat is still verboten, we might not get such studies for a while. Certainly, the Women’s Health Initiative (diet arm) provided RCT evidence that reducing saturated fat intake does nothing, but it also did not say anything about increasing saturated fat intake. And the data from Japan is epidemiological, so it can only show correlation not causation.

    • Good points, Bob.
      I’d be careful about applying observations about Japanese strokes to non-Asian U.S. or other populations. I think Japanese strokes may be different from Western strokes.