Socioeconomic status and stroke

Lancet Neurol. 2006 Feb;5(2):181-8. doi: 10.1016/S1474-4422(06)70351-9.


This paper reviews the current evidence for the association between socioeconomic status and stroke incidence, survival, mortality, and other outcomes. The evidence is strongest for mortality and incidence of stroke, with high rates of stroke in low socioeconomic groups being a consistent finding. Low socioeconomic groups also have lower survival and greater stroke severity than high socioeconomic groups, although there is less evidence for this association. The mechanisms through which socioeconomic status affects stroke risk and outcomes are unclear but some studies report that differences in risk-factor prevalence could account for some of the variation. We discuss the implications of these findings and make recommendations for future research. Studies using prospective population-based methods with improved control for confounding factors are needed to confirm or refute these associations. Understanding the causal associations between socioeconomic status and stroke will allow interventions to be appropriately targeted and assessed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Class*
  • Stroke / economics*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / mortality*
  • Survival
  • Treatment Outcome