Stroke incidence and case fatality in Australasia. A comparison of the Auckland and Perth population-based stroke registers.
Population-based studies are crucial for identifying explanations for the decline in mortality from stroke and for generating strategies for public health policy. However, the present particular methodological difficulties, and comparability between them is generally poor. In this article we compare the incidence and case fatality of stroke as assessed by two independent well-designed incidence studies.
Two registers of acute cerebrovascular events were compiled in the geographically defined metropolitan areas of Auckland, New Zealand (population 945,369), during 1991-1992 for 12 months and Perth, Australia (population 138,708), during 1989-1990 for 18 months. The protocols for each register included prospective ascertainment of cases using multiple overlapping sources and the application of standardized definitions and criteria for stroke and case fatality.
In Auckland, 1803 events occurred in 1761 residents, 73% of which were first-ever strokes. The corresponding figures for Perth were 536 events in 492 residents, 69% of which were first-ever strokes. Both studies identified a substantial proportion of nonfatal strokes managed solely outside the hospital system: 28% in Auckland and 22% in Perth of all patients registered. The age-standardized annual incidence of stroke (all events) was 27% higher among men in Perth compared with Auckland (odds ratio, 1.27; P = .016); women tended to have higher rates in Auckland, although these differences were not statistically significant. In both centers approximately a quarter of all patients died within the first month after a stroke. There were significant differences in the prevalence of hypertension among first-ever strokes.
These two studies emphasize the importance of identifying all patients with stroke, both hospitalized and nonhospitalized, in order to measure the incidence of stroke accurately. The incidence and case fatality of stroke were remarkably similar in Auckland and Perth in the early 1990s. However, there are differences in the sex-specific rates that correspond to differences in the pattern of risk factors.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association