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Incidence and case fatality rates of stroke subtypes in a multiethnic population: the South London Stroke Register


Objective: To identify sociodemographic differences in the incidence of the subtypes of first ever stroke in a multiethnic population.

Methods: A prospective community stroke register (1995–8) was developed using multiple notification sources and pathological and clinical classifications of stroke. Standardisation of rates was to European and World populations and adjusted for age, sex and socioeconomic status in multivariate analyses. A multiethnic population of 234 533 in south London, of whom 21% are black was studied.

Results: A total of 1254 cases were registered. The average age of stroke was 71.7 years with black patients being 11.3 years younger than white patients (p<0.0001). The incidence rate/1000 population was 1.33 (crude) (95% CI 1.26 to 1.41), 1.28 (European adjusted) (95% CI 1.2 to 1.35) with a 2.18 (95% CI 1.86 to 2.56) (p<0.0001) age and sex adjusted incidence rate ratio in the black population. Radiological diagnosis was confirmatory in 1107 (88.3%) with 862 (68.7%) infarction, 168 (13.4%) primary intracerebral haemorrhage, and 77 (6.2%) subarachnoid haemorrhage. Of the cerebral infarction cases 189 (21.9%) were total anterior circulatory, 250 (29%) partial anterior, 141 (16.4%) posterior (POCI) and 282 (32.7%) lacunar infarcts. The black group had a significantly higher incidence of all subtypes of stroke except for POCI and unclassified strokes. The incidence rate ratio (IRR) for men compared with women was 1.34 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.19 to 1.50; p<0.001). The IRR for manual versus non-manual occupations in those aged 35–64 years was 1.64 (95%CI 1.22 to 2.23; p<0.0001). There was a borderline significant increase in adjusted survival at 6 months in the black group 95% (CI 0.61 to 1.03, p=0.078) with a hazard ratio of 0.79 after adjustment and stratification.

Conclusions: Although the black population is at increased risk of stroke and most subtypes of stroke, this is not translated into significant differences in survival. Hence black/white differences in mortality are mainly driven by incidence of stroke. There are striking demographic inequalities in the risk of stroke in this multiethnic inner city population that need to be tackled through interagency working. Although the reasons for the increased risk in the black population are unclear, demographic factors such as socioeconomic status do seem to play a significant independent part.

  • cerebrovascular disease
  • incidence
  • disease register
  • ethnic groups
  • Black
  • socioeconomic status
  • stroke subtype
  • POCI, posterior cerebral infarction
  • IRR, incidence rate ratio
  • SLSR, South London Stroke Register
  • ONS, Office of National Statistics
  • TACI, total anterior cerebral infarction
  • PACI, partial anterial cerebral infarction
  • LACI, lacunar infarction
  • OCSP, Oxford Community Stroke Project

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