The epidemiology of stroke in the Middle East and North Africa

J Neurol Sci. 2010 Aug 15;295(1-2):38-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2010.05.016. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the world. In the Middle East and North Africa stroke is increasingly becoming a major health problem, with projections that deaths from it will nearly double by 2030. This systematic review aims to bring together age-adjusted epidemiological data of stroke in this region. A literature review of five databases was conducted. Twenty-three papers met the criteria. The incidence of stroke varied extensively among studies. Studies reported rates from 29.8 per 100000 people in Saudi Arabia to 57 per 100000 people in Bahrain. Furthermore, the 28-day case mortality rate also differed among studies, ranging from 10% in Kuwait to 31.5% in Iran. The rates are comparable with those in the Western world; however, the population of the region is younger. The Middle East and North Africa are lacking in data on the epidemiology of stroke. There is an urgent need to develop strategies to prevent and better care for stroke patients in the Middle East and North Africa.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Africa, Northern / epidemiology
  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle East / epidemiology
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*