[Neurology, August 12th, 2016] A sharp decline in the incidence of subarachnoid hemorrhage, the most fatal type of stroke, coincided with the decline in cigarette smoking between 1998 and 2012 in Finland, a recent study found.
An examination of death records in Finland identified nearly 7,000 people with subarachnoid hemorrhage in this time range, with 26% of these events occurring away from hospitals or in emergency rooms. The 3 year average incidence decreased 24%, from 11.7 per 100,000 persons in 1998-2000 to 8.9 per 100,000 persons in 2010-2012. Daily smoking decreased 30% between 1998 and 2012. Smoking remains a strong risk factor for stroke, suggesting that the decrease in smoking rates may be coupled with this apparent decline in subarachnoid hemorrhage.