Epidemiology of ischaemic stroke and traumatic brain injury

Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2010 Dec;24(4):485-94. doi: 10.1016/j.bpa.2010.10.006. Epub 2010 Nov 29.


Acquired brain injury, including both Ischaemic stroke (IS) and Traumatic Brain injury (TBI), is one of the most common causes of disability and death in adults. Yet there are vast differences in our knowledge of their epidemiology. While the incidence, case-fatality and risk factors for stroke are well established, work needs to continue particularly in low-income countries, where these data remain sparse; and in relation to specific stroke subtypes such as IS. Similar data regarding the epidemiology of TBI are generally lacking. The majority of TBI incidence studies have focussed on hospital-based samples and there are no established criteria from which to design high quality epidemiological studies. The need to establish such criteria separate from those already available for stroke is suggested given the differing demographic profile of TBI as well as differences in seeking of medical attention for TBI. The immense burden of stroke can be reduced by prevention of modifiable risk factors particularly in developing countries where both changing lifestyle and lack of healthcare resources are contributing to rising stroke incidence and mortality. Similarly, studies to date indicate that TBI incidence can be reduced by addressing modifiable risk factors such as alcohol abuse, risk-taking behaviour and socioeconomic disparities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology*
  • Brain Ischemia / etiology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Stroke / etiology
  • Stroke / physiopathology