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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 69:601-607 doi:10.1136/jnnp.69.5.601
  • Paper

Incidence of intracerebral and subarachnoid haemorrhage in southern Sweden

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Spontaneuos intracranial haemorrhage—that is, mainly subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH) and primary intracerebral haemorrhage (PICH)—constitutes an important part of all strokes. As previous epidemiological studies have demonstrated highly variable incidence rates, we conducted a large prospective investigation of all haemorrhagic strokes during a 1 year period.

METHODS Twelve hospitals serving a defined population of 1.14 million in southern Sweden registered all cases with spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage, including those found dead outside hospitals, during 1996. All patients were examined with CT of the brain or underwent necropsy. Incidence rates adjusted to the Swedish population for age and sex, as well as location of haematoma and prevalence of risk factors were calculated.

RESULTS A total of 106 patients with SAH and 341 patients with PICH were identified. The annual incidence/100 000 was 10.0 (6.4 for men and 13.5 for women) for SAH and 28.4 (32.2 for men and 24.7 for women) for PICH when adjusted to the Swedish population. Subarachnoid haemorrhage affected twice as many women as men. The incidence of both types of haemorrhage increased with advancing age, but in particular, this was the case for supratentorial PICH. Lobar haematomas were the most common (51.6%) type of PICH. Among patients with PICH, 37% had hypertension, 41% other vascular disease, and 12% were on oral anticoagulation. Among patients with SAH, 28% had hypertension and 18% vascular disease before the haemorrhage but no one was on treatment with oral anticoagulation.

CONCLUSIONS The incidence of PICH was high, especially for the older age groups. PICH was, on average, three times as common as SAH. The study underscores the importance of PICH and SAH as significant stroke subgroups.

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