Planning availability in stroke rehabilitation units.
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The sequelae of cerebrovascular diseases constitute, and in the coming years will increasingly constitute, a major health problem. Stroke is already the leading cause of permanent invalidity, the second leading cause of dementia, and the third (on course to become the second) leading cause of death, after cardiovascular diseases and cancerIn view of the aging of the population and of the fact that stroke is strictly age-related, the incidence of stroke, in Italy, looks set to rise progressively over the coming years. In recent years, units have been set up for the specialist inpatient treatment of stroke victims, both in the acute phase (known as stroke units) and in the subsequent rehabilitative phase (stroke rehabilitation units), the aim being to improve both the management of these patients and, as a result, their functional outcome. Health policies and programming will have to take into account the need for more beds in both types of stroke unit.