Prevalence of Stroke in Taiwan

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We investigated the prevalence of stroke in Taiwan in an epidemiologic study of stroke, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease that used a two-phase survey design. The study population was drawn by cluster sampling and consisted of both urban and rural communities from four regions of Taiwan. There were 8,705 people 36 years of age or older interviewed during the period of October 1 to December 31, 1986, and 143 cases of completed stroke were later identified by a neurologist. The point prevalence rate for people aged 36 or older in our study was 1,642/100,000 population (95% confidence interval 1,389–1,942/100,000). Prevalence rates differed significantly among the four study regions and between urban and rural communities; prevalence was greater in northern Taiwan and in urban communities. Percentages of the major types of stroke in 143 stroke survivors were as follows: cerebral infarction 67.1% (96 cases), cerebral hemorrhage 14.0% (20 cases), subarachnoid hemorrhage 4.2% (six cases), and unclassified 14.7% (21 cases). Of the stroke survivors, 67.1% were independent in activities of daily living, and 75.5% were independent in ambulation. Hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, and a family history of stroke were significantly more common in stroke survivors than in strokefree individuals.

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