Low Income, Less Health Care Spending Ups Stroke Incidence

Young population with low per-capita income, less health care spending more likely to have stroke

THURSDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Lower per-capita gross domestic product and lower total health expenditure per capita are associated with increased stroke incidence, according to a study published online Oct. 27 in Stroke.

Luciano A. Sposato, M.D., M.B.A., from the University Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Gustavo Saposnik, M.D., from the University of Toronto, investigated the association between macrosocioeconomic status indicators (per-capita gross domestic product adjusted for purchasing power parity [PPP-aGDP], total health expenditures per capita at purchasing power parity [PPP-aTHE], and unemployment rate) and incident risk of stroke, 30-day case-fatality, the proportion of hemorrhagic strokes, and age at stroke onset. Data were collected from 23 articles comprising 30 population-based studies fulfilling the eligibility criteria.

The investigators found that the age-adjusted incident risk of stroke correlated with lower per-capita PPP-aGDP and PPP-aTHE. Lower per-capita PPP-aGDP and PPP-aTHE also correlated with 30-day case-fatality rates and the proportion of hemorrhagic strokes. In populations with low per-capita PPP-aGDP and PPP-aTHE, stroke occurred at a younger age. No association was found between unemployment rates and outcome measures.

"These macrosocioeconomic status indicators may be used as proxy measures of quality of primary prevention and acute care and considered as important factors for developing strategies aimed at improving worldwide stroke care," the authors write.

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