Send to

Choose Destination
Lancet Neurol. 2006 Feb;5(2):130-9.

Ethnic disparities in incidence of stroke subtypes: Auckland Regional Community Stroke Study, 2002-2003.

Author information

Clinical Trials Research Unit, Department of Medicine and School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand.



Limited population-based data exist on differences in the incidence of major pathological stroke types and ischaemic stroke subtypes across ethnic groups. We aimed to provide such data within the large multi-ethnic population of Auckland, New Zealand.


All first-ever cases of stroke (n=1423) in a population-based register in 940 000 residents (aged 15 years) in Auckland, New Zealand, for a 12-month period in 2002-2003, were classified into ischaemic stroke, primary intracerebral haemorrhage (PICH), subarachnoid haemorrhage, and undetermined stroke, according to standard definitions and results of neuroimaging/necropsy (in over 90% of cases). Ischaemic stroke was further classified into five subtypes. Ethnicity was self-identified and grouped as New Zealand (NZ)/European, Maori/Pacific, and Asian/other. Incidence rates were standardised to the WHO world population by the direct method, and differences in rates between ethnic groups expressed as rate ratios (RRs), with NZ/European as the reference group.


In NZ/European people, ischaemic stroke comprised 73%, PICH 11%, and subarachnoid haemorrhage 6%, but PICH was higher in Maori/Pacific people (17%) and in Asian/other people (22%). Compared with NZ/European people, age-adjusted RRs for PICH were 2.7 (95% CI 1.8-4.0) and 2.3 (95% CI 1.4-3.7) among Maori/Pacific and Asian/other people, respectively. The corresponding RR for ischaemic stroke was greater for Maori/Pacific people (1.7 [95% CI 1.4-2.0]), particularly embolic stroke, and for Asian/other people (1.3 [95% CI 1.0-1.7]). The onset of stroke in Maori/Pacific and Asian/other people began at significantly younger ages (62 years and 64 years, respectively) than in NZ/Europeans (75 years; p<0.0001). There were ethnic differences in the risk factor profiles (such as age, sex, hypertension, cardiac disease, diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia, smoking status, overweight) for the stroke types and subtypes.


Compared to NZ/Europeans, Maori/Pacific and Asian/other people are at higher risk of ischaemic stroke and PICH, whereas similar rates of subarachnoid haemorrhage were evident across ethnic groups. The ethnic disparities in the rates of stroke types could be due to substantial differences found in risk factor profiles between ethnic groups. This information should be considered when planning prevention and stroke-care services in multi-ethnic communities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center