Background: The burden of stroke is comparatively greater in Asian countries than in the Western world. While there has been a documented recent decline in the incidence of stroke in several Western nations due to better risk factor management, much less is known about the nature and trajectory of stroke in Asia over the last decade.
Objective: To explore risk factors, medication use, incidence, and one-year recurrence of stroke in Taiwan.
Methods: We conducted a nationwide cohort study by retrieving all hospitalized patients (≥ 18 years) with a primary diagnosis of ischemic stroke between 2001 and 2011 from Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database.
Results: A total of 291,381 first-ever ischemic stroke patients were enrolled between 2000 and 2011. The average age was about 70 years and approximately 58.6% of them were men. While prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hyperlipidemia, as well as use of statins, antiplatelet agents, and oral anticoagulant agents for atrial fibrillation significantly increased; incidence (142.3 vs. 129.5 per 100,000 in 2000 and 2011, respectively; Figure 1) and one-year recurrence (9.6% vs. 7.8% in 2000 and 2011, respectively; Figure 2) of stroke declined during this period of time.
Conclusion: Over the last decade in Taiwan, rates of primary ischemic stroke and one-year recurrent stroke decreased by 9% and 18% respectively.