The number of prevalent cases of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) will increase by 18.6% over the next decade, from 9.48 million in 2012 to 11.24 million in 2022, forecasts research and consulting firm GlobalData.

According to the company’s latest report, the number of incident cases of AIS in the six major markets (US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK) will also increase, jumping from 1.25 million cases in 2012 to 1.5 million in 2022. The growth in the number of incident and prevalent cases of AIS can be attributed to changing population demographics in the respective markets.

Furthermore, previous research shows that every year, around 15 million people in the world suffer a stroke, which is the second leading cause of mortality in people aged 60 years and over.

Lizzy Sunny, Ph.D., GlobalData’s Analyst covering Epidemiology, says: “The substantially higher number of prevalent cases of AIS compared with the number of incident cases indicates that a higher proportion of stroke victims survive after the event for longer time periods. However, these survivors will live with serious disabilities, making stroke a major burden for the affected individual and the entire healthcare system in each country.”

Risk factors such as cigarette smoking, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, obesity and diabetes will likely affect the AIS forecast in the six major markets.

“Due to the chronic nature of these risk factors, as well as the difficulty in managing and treating them, they often persist after a person has had a stroke. Therefore, the prevalence of these conditions will be higher in stroke victims in comparison to the general population,” says Sunny.

Other strong predictors of AIS are related to paternal history of stroke, as well as race and ethnicity, with blacks and Hispanics being at the highest risk of developing the condition.