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Global Burden of Stroke Varies Widely

Incidence has declined in high-income countries but increased in low- and middle-income countries

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of stroke mortality varies widely around the world, and the incidence of stroke in high-income countries has declined in the last four decades, while it has doubled in low- and middle-income countries over the same time period, according to two articles published online Feb. 20 in The Lancet Neurology.

S. Claiborne Johnston, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues estimated national stroke burden and mortality, and found that the strongest predictor of stroke mortality was per capita income, and that low-income countries are therefore the most adversely affected by stroke burden.

Valery L. Feigin, M.D., of AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand, and colleagues reviewed population-based studies from 1970 to 2008 and found that during this period, there was a more than 100 percent increase in the incidence of stroke in low- to middle-income countries, while incidence in high-income countries fell by 42 percent.

"In 2000 to 2008, the overall stroke incidence rates in low- to middle-income countries have, for the first time, exceeded the level of stroke incidence seen in high-income countries, by 20 percent," Feigin and colleagues write. "The time to decide whether or not stroke is an issue that should be on the governmental agenda in low- to middle-income countries has now passed. Now is the time for action."

Abstract - Johnston
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Abstract - Feigin
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