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Stroke. 2000 Sep;31(9):2087-92.

Stroke incidence on the east coast of Australia: the North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study (NEMESIS).

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National Stroke Research Institute, Austin and Repatriation Medical Center, West Heidelberg, Australia.



Community-based stroke incidence studies are the most accurate way of explaining mortality trends and developing public health policy. The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of stroke in a geographically defined region of Melbourne, Australia.


All suspected strokes occurring in a population of 133 816 residents in suburbs north and east of Melbourne, Australia, during a 12-month period of 1996 and 1997 were found and assessed. Multiple overlapping sources were used to ascertain cases, and standard definitions and criteria for stroke and case fatality were used.


A total of 381 strokes occurred among 353 people during the study period, 276 (72%) of which were first-ever-in-a-lifetime strokes. The crude annual incidence rate (first-ever strokes) was 206 (95% CI, 182 to 231) per 100 000 per year overall, 195 (95% CI, 161 to 229) for males, and 217 (95% CI, 182 to 252) for females. The corresponding rates adjusted to the "world" population were 100 (95% CI, 80 to 119) overall, 113 (95% CI, 92 to 134) for males, and 89 (95% CI, 70 to 107) for females. The 28-day case fatality rate for first-ever strokes was 20% (95% CI, 16% to 25%).


The incidence rate of stroke in our population-based study is similar to that of many European studies but is significantly higher than that observed on the west coast of Australia.

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