The Saudi Stroke Data Bank. Analysis of the first 1000 cases

Acta Neurol Scand. 1999 Oct;100(4):265-9.


Objectives: To determine the types of stroke, their risk factors and their most likely causes in Saudi patients.

Methods: Data on stroke cases admitted to 2 major hospitals in Saudi Arabia since 1982 were collected retrospectively up to 1991 then prospectively since then. By January 1995, the number of cases with first-ever-stroke stored in our Saudi Stroke Data Bank reached 1280. This article describes the findings in the first 1000 Saudi patients investigated by brain computed tomography.

Results: Males (68%) outnumbered females. There was no significant difference between the retrospective cases and the prospective ones in relation to the types of stroke or the risk factors. Ischemic strokes accounted for 76% of the cases and one third of them were lacunar infarcts. Most of the hemorrhagic strokes were intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs) and only 2% of all strokes were subarachnoid hemorrhages (SAHs). Hypertension (52%), diabetes mellitus (41%) and cardiac disorders were common risk factors. The commonest causes of cerebral infarcts were atherosclerosis 36%, hypertensive and/or diabetic arteriolopathy 24% and cardiac embolisms 19%. Hypertensive arteriolopathy accounted for two-thirds of the cerebral hemorrhages. Strokes related to small artery disease, i.e. lacunar infarcts and ICHs accounted for 47% of the cases.

Conclusion: The overall distribution of stroke types in Saudis is not very different from that reported in western studies, except for the low frequency of SAH. However, the important role of small artery disease in stroke pathogenesis and the high number of diabetic patients are quite distinctive.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Stroke / epidemiology*