Stroke Burden Shows Substantial Global Variation

Stroke mortality and disease burden exceeds ischemic heart disease burden in poor countries

WEDNESDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke burden shows substantial global variation compared to ischemic heart disease (IHD), with countries with lower national income having disproportionately higher stroke death and disease burden than IHD, according to a study published online July 5 in Circulation.

Anthony S. Kim, M.D., and S. Claiborne Johnston, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, investigated the mortality and disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) loss rates from stroke and IHD, and national estimates of vascular risk factors in 192 World Health Organization member countries. World Bank estimates were used to derive national income data.

The researchers found that the stroke mortality rates of 74 countries exceeded their IHD mortality rates, and ranged from 12.7 percent higher to 27.2 percent lower than IHD. The stroke DALY rates of 62 countries surpassed their IHD DALY rates, varying from 6.2 percent higher to 10.2 percent lower than IHD. China, Africa, and South America had a disproportionately higher stroke burden, while the Middle East, North America, Australia, and much of Europe had higher IHD burden. Lower national income was significantly correlated with higher relative mortality and stroke burden. Even after adjusting for national income, both diabetes mellitus prevalence and average serum cholesterol independently correlated with greater relative burdens from IHD.

"There is substantial global variation in the relative burden of stroke compared with ischemic heart disease; mortality and disease burdens from stroke and ischemic heart disease do not track uniformly with each other. Lower-income countries have a higher relative stroke burden overall," the authors write.

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