Background and purpose: The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Stroke Study was designed to be the first large, population-based metropolitan study of temporal trends in stroke incidence rates and outcome within a biracial population.
Methods: We are identifying all hospitalized and autopsied cases of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) among the 1.3 million inhabitants of a five-county region of Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky for the period 7/1/93-6/30/94. We have already prospectively monitored for out-of-hospital stroke and TIAs for this same time period at 128 screening sites, including a random sample of all primary care physicians and nursing homes in the region. We have already identified all hospitalized and autopsied cases of stroke and TIA among blacks for 1/1/93-6/30/93 and report preliminary incidence rates for this 6-month period.
Results: The overall incidence rate for all first-ever hospitalized or autopsied stroke (excluding TIAs) among blacks in the Greater Cincinnati region was 288 per 100000 (95% CI, 250 to 325, age- and sex-adjusted to 1990 US population). The overall incidence rate for first-ever and recurrent stroke (excluding TIAs) was 411 per 100000 (95% CI, 366 to 456). By comparison, the overall incidence rate of first-ever stroke among whites in Rochester, Minn, during the period 1985-1989 was 179 per 100000 (95% CI, 164 to 194, age- and-sex adjusted to 1990 US population). The incidence rates among blacks in Greater Cincinnati were substantially greater than the rates among whites in Rochester, Minn, for all age categories except ages 75 and older, for which the rates were similar.
Conclusions: We conservatively estimate that 731100 first-ever or recurrent strokes occurred in the United States during 1996. Studies of first-ever as well as total stroke among biracial and representative populations are critical for understanding temporal trends in the incidence rate and the burden of stroke in the US population.