Trends in stroke incidence in Hong Kong differ by stroke subtype

Cerebrovasc Dis. 2011;31(2):138-46. doi: 10.1159/000321734. Epub 2010 Dec 4.


Background: The population in Hong Kong is mainly Chinese, but their lifestyle is increasingly westernized. It is uncertain whether the trends of stroke in Hong Kong would follow a Chinese or Western pattern. This is the first study to examine the trends of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke in Hong Kong between 1999 and 2007 with a view to providing data for planning preventive programs and resources for treatment.

Methods: Data from the Clinical Management System database of the Hong Kong Hospital Authority for 1999-2007 were used to examine incidence rates of stroke by subtypes among the Hong Kong population aged 35 and above. Poisson regression models were used to examine the trends in the ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke incidence in different subgroups.

Results: During 1999-2007, while the age-adjusted incidence of ischemic stroke has decreased, that of hemorrhagic stroke has remained fairly stable. In the younger age group (35-44 years), the incidence of ischemic stroke remained stable, whereas that of hemorrhagic stroke has increased. Furthermore, the incidence of all stroke among Hong Kong Chinese is much higher than in many other developed countries.

Conclusions: There were different trends of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke incidence in Hong Kong. The findings highlight the public health importance of further research into the underlying causes of the increasing trend in hemorrhagic stroke in the younger age group, and the higher overall age-adjusted stroke incidence in Hong Kong compared with other developed countries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Databases as Topic
  • Epidemiology / trends
  • Hong Kong / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / epidemiology*
  • Ischemic Attack, Transient / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors