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Neuroepidemiology 2012;38:30–40

Methodology of the Global and Regional Burden of Stroke Study

aNational Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies, Auckland University of Technology, bDepartment of Psychology, Faculty of Science, cSchool of Population Health, and dDepartment of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, and eSchool of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Stroke
  • Disability
  • Systematic review
  • Epidemiology
  • Global health
  • Methodology

 goto top of outline Abstract

Background: Setting priorities for the prevention of stroke requires an empirical understanding of the pattern of disease burden and exposure to major risk factors. In this manuscript we aim to report the methodology of a systematic review of the epidemiological literature on stroke and how this information will be synthesized to produce updated estimates of the global burden of stroke. Methods: We will use multi-state models implemented in the software program DisMod III to estimate age-specific prevalence, incidence, and early case-fatality (defined as either 28-day, 30-day or 1-month case fatality) for stroke by the 21 global burden of disease (GBD) regions as well as by gender and pathological stroke type based on information obtained from a systematic review. We conducted a two-stage search strategy in order to identify studies published between 1980 and 2011 for the GBD stroke review. Eligible studies: (a) distinguished between stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA); (b) distinguished between 1st ever and recurrent stroke; (c) reported on age-specific rates; (d) if reported, provided survival status within 28 days, 30 days or 1 month of onset for fatal and non-fatal events; (e) specified methods for ascertaining stroke cases, and (f) described imaging modalities to determine stroke subtypes. Details of included studies were recorded on a detailed data extraction form by trained reviewers. We will gather information on demographics, natural history and clinical outcomes (e.g. Rankin scale, Glasgow Coma Scale), after stroke which will be used to facilitate the estimation of epidemiological parameters. Reporting and methodological quality was rated. Populations were coded as urban, rural, or combined and studies classified as national, sub-national, healthcare system-based, or community level. Studies published in non-English languages were translated and coded centrally. Discussion: In international health research, there is a crucial need for accurate assessment of global health patterns. A thorough GBD reassessment of stroke will ensure that global health policy decisions are based on the most up-to-date, valid and reliable epidemiological information available.

Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Derrick A. Bennett
Clinical Trials Service Unit, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus
Roosevelt Drive
Oxford OX3 7LF (UK)
Tel. +44 1865 743949, E-Mail

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: February 16, 2011
Accepted: November 1, 2011
Published online: December 17, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 11
Number of Figures : 4, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 56

 goto top of outline Publication Details


Vol. 38, No. 1, Year 2012 (Cover Date: January 2012)

Journal Editor: Feigin V.L. (Auckland)
ISSN: 0251-5350 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0208 (Online)

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