Background and purpose: Vascular conditions are becoming the greatest cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Few studies exist in Latin America. We aimed to perform a rigorous stroke surveillance study in Durango, Mexico.
Methods: Active and passive surveillance were used to identify all patients with potential stroke presenting to Durango Municipality hospitals from August 2007 to July 2008. Exclusion criteria were subjects younger than 25 years old, stroke attributable to head trauma, and non-Durango Municipality residents. Brain Attack Surveillance in Durango-trained neurologists validated cases as stroke using source documentation. Stroke hospitalization rates were defined to include patients examined in the emergency department or admitted to the hospital.
Results: Abstractors identified 435 potential cases; 309 (71%) were validated as stroke. Of the validated stroke cases, the median age was 71 and 49% were female. Subtypes were 61.5% ischemic stroke, 20.7% intracerebral hemorrhage, 7.4% subarachnoid hemorrhage, and 10.4% undetermined. Overall initial NIHSS was a median of 11 (interquartile range, 7-17); in-hospital mortality was 39%. When adjusted to the world population, the age-adjusted hospitalization rate of first-ever stroke was 118.2 per 100 000; rates by type were: ischemic stroke, 69.1 (95% CI, 57.5-80.7); intracerebral hemorrhage, 26.7 (95% CI, 19.6-33.8); subarachnoid hemorrhage, 9.5 (95% CI, 5.3-13.8); and unknown, 12.3 (95% CI, 7.4-17.3). Of 190 patients with validated ischemic stroke, 44.2% received lipid testing and 7.4% received carotid imaging and echocardiography; 1.1% received tissue plasminogen activator.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first estimate of stroke hospitalization rates in a Mexican community and it provides information important for design of interventions to prevent and treat stroke. This information is critical to reduce Mexico's stroke burden.