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Stroke. 2009 Aug;40(8):2691-7. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.109.550814. Epub 2009 Jun 4.

Stroke incidence and mortality rates 1987 to 2006 related to secular trends of cardiovascular risk factors in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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  • 1Institute of Clinical Neuroscience, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.



Stroke incidence rates were unchanged whereas fatality rates declined during the period 1971 to 1987 in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden. For the period 1987 to 2006, we now report on trends in stroke incidence and mortality with concurrent risk factor trends in the same population. Since 1976 the incidence of myocardial infarction decreased by 50%.


Through the National Hospital Discharge Register linked with the Cause of Death Register, 12 904 males and 15 250 females with first strokes were detected for the period 1987 to 2006. Cardiovascular risk factor data were available for random population samples of men and women aged 50 years from 1963 to 2003.


Incidence and mortality rates for all-stroke were unchanged. Rates for subarachnoid hemorrhage declined for the age group 45 to 54 in men, but not significantly in any other age group of men or women. Mortality rates of intracerebral hemorrhage declined for women aged 65 to 74, with no significant changes in any other age group. Ischemic stroke incidence did not change, but mortality increased for men and women aged 75 and older, whereas mortality declined for the age group 20 to 44 for men. In the general population there were significant reductions in smoking, total cholesterol, and blood pressure levels in both men and women, whereas diabetes prevalence, body weight, and BMI increased among both sexes, and triglycerides increased in men.


Contrary to myocardial infarction, stroke incidence and mortality did not change. Monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors in the community is important.

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