The epidemiology of stroke in the East Asian region: a literature-based review

Int J Stroke. 2006 Nov;1(4):208-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1747-4949.2006.00060.x.


Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Our objective was to review comparable studies of stroke incidence, prevalence, and subtypes in the East Asian region. English language epidemiologic studies of stroke published from 1984 through 2004 were identified for the East Asian region (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, North and South Korea and the ASEAN countries). The Sudlow-Warlow criteria were modified to identify comparable studies. Stroke epidemiology is relatively well characterized in China, Taiwan, and Japan; however, little information is available for other countries. Four studies of stroke incidence, from China, Taiwan, and Japan, were identified, which reported a total of 4995 first-ever stroke events. There was an over twofold difference in the age-adjusted incidence of stroke between the Chinese Seven Cities and Okinawa study (483 vs 201 per 100,000). The 1-month case fatality rate ranged from 12.7% to 17.3%. Only one population-based study on stroke prevalence, from Taiwan, was identified: Studies show the relatively high proportion of hemorrhagic stroke (30%). Stroke epidemiology is relatively well characterized in China, Japan, and Taiwan but not in other countries in the region. More recent data are needed to monitor stroke prevention efforts and guide planning of health care resources in the region.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Far East / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Stroke / epidemiology*