Introduction and objectives: The aim of this study was to obtain an estimate of the incidence of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) in the Spanish population in 2002.
Methods: The study involved data on patients aged over 24 years for the year 2002 contained in both the death register and the Minimum Basic Data Set from 65 of the 84 Catalan general hospitals (i.e., 90.7% of all acute hospital beds in Catalonia). Total and age-adjusted mortality rates, cumulative incidence, and hospitalization rates, and the 28-day case fatality rate for CVD in the Catalan population were calculated after cases of traumatic and transient disease had been excluded.
Results: The unadjusted CVD mortality rate per 100,000 population aged over 24 years in Catalonia was 92 in men and 119 in women. The age-adjusted rates were 58 (95% confidence interval or CI, 56-61) and 43 (95% CI, 41-44), respectively. The cumulative incidence of CVD per 100,000 population was 218 (95% CI, 214-221) in men and 127 (95% CI, 125-128) in women. The unadjusted 28-day case fatality rate in the population was 36.2%: 30.3% in men and 42.0% in women. Some 62.5% of patients (57.2% of men and 66.4% of women) died from CVD outside hospital.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that CVD mortality and incidence rates in Catalonia are among the lowest in developed countries. More than half of the deaths that took place within 28 days after the onset of symptoms occurred outside hospital.