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, 27 (9), 1499-501

Prevalence of Stroke in the General Population. The Rotterdam Study


Prevalence of Stroke in the General Population. The Rotterdam Study

M L Bots et al. Stroke.


Background and purpose: We assessed the prevalence of self-reported and medically confirmed stroke and the degree to which the event had led to hospitalization.

Methods: From all participants of the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study of 7983 subjects aged 55 years and older living in a suburb of Ommoord in Rotterdam, information on stroke history was obtained by the question, "Did you ever suffer from a stroke, diagnosed by a physician?" Supplementary medical information was obtained from general practitioner or hospital discharge records.

Results: Prevalence of self-reported stroke was 2.5% in men aged 55 to 64 years, 5.0% in men aged 65 to 74 years, 8.9% in men aged 75 to 84 years, and 11.6% in men aged 85 years or older. Corresponding figures for women were 1.6%, 3.3%, 6.7%, and 10.5%, respectively. Of the self-reported strokes, 67% could be confirmed by medical information. In 53% (95% confidence interval, 47% to 60%) of subjects with a confirmed stroke, the event had led to hospital admission. The proportion of hospitalized patients decreased with age.

Conclusions: The present study provides valid age- and sex-specific estimates of prevalence of stroke. A substantial proportion of patients with stroke is not hospitalized.

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