Introduction: Stroke is a leading cause of mortality and disability worldwide. It is the fifth cause of death in the United States. The burden of cerebrovascular disease is high in low and middle-income countries and it is estimated to increase in the future. Regional epidemiological data is essential to assess the real impact of the disease and to plan rational adjudication of public health resources. Stroke mortality data in Latin America, including Argentina, are scant. We aimed to determine mortality from all causes, including stroke, in a sample representative of the Argentinean population.
Methods: EstEPA is a population-based study to assess the prevalence, incidence and mortality of stroke and its distribution by age, gender and clinical subtype in General Villegas county (pop. 32.500 inhab.), province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mortality data was obtained from all death certificates issued in General Villegas between August 1st 2015 and July 31st 2016. Further relevant information was obtained from medical records, family and primary physicians interviews. Ischemic strokes, non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhages and non-traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhages were recorded.
Results: There were 286 confirmed deaths for a general mortality rate of 8.8‰. The leading causes of death were cardiovascular disease (23%), infections and pneumonias (18%) and cancer (11%). With 24 confirmed cases, stroke was the fourth cause of death representing 8.4% of all obits (n=24). More women than men died of stroke (16 vs 8). There were 6 ischemic, 6 hemorrhagic and 12 undetermined strokes. Other less frequent causes of death were chronic respiratory diseases (7%), trauma (7%), dementia (5%), gastrointestinal diseases (4%), renal diseases (3%) and perinatal deaths (3%).
Conclusion: This is the first epidemiological study assessing stroke mortality in Argentina. In this sample, representative of the Argentinean population at large, stroke was the fourth cause of death. These results were similar to statistics from Western hemisphere countries.