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Swiss Med Wkly. 2009 Feb 7;139(5-6):65-9. doi: smw-12448.

Stroke events, and case fatalities in Switzerland based on hospital statistics and cause of death statistics.

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Swiss Health Observatory and Medical Faculty, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



In Switzerland there is a shortage of population-based information on stroke incidence and case fatalities (CF). The aim of this study was to estimate stroke event rates and both in- and out-of-hospital CF rates.


Data on stroke diagnoses, coded according to I60-I64 (ICD 10), were taken from the Federal Hospital Discharge Statistics database (HOST) and the Cause of Death database (CoD) for the year 2004. The number of total stroke events and of age- and gender-specific and agestandardised event rates were estimated; overall CF, in-hospital and out-of-hospital, were determined.


Among the overall number of 13 996 hospital discharges from stroke (HOST) the number was lower in women (n = 6736) than in men (n = 7260). A total of 3568 deaths (2137 women and 1431 men) due to stroke were recorded in the CoD database. The number of estimated stroke events was 15 733, and higher in women (n = 7933) than in men (n = 7800). Men presented significantly higher age-specific stroke event rates and a higher age-standardised event rate (178.7/100 000 versus 119.7/100 000). Overall CF rates were significantly higher for women (26.9%) than for men (18.4%). The same was true of out-of-hospital CF but not of in-hospital CF rates.


The data on estimated stroke events obtained indicate that stroke discharge rate underestimates the stroke event rate. Out-of-hospital deaths from stroke accounted for the largest proportion of total stroke deaths. Sex differences in both number of total stroke events and deaths could be explained by the higher proportion of women than men aged 55+ in the Swiss population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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