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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2018 Oct-Dec;9(4):551-555. doi: 10.4103/jnrp.jnrp_79_18.

Nonfatal Stroke and All-Cause Mortality among Community-Dwelling Older Adults Living in Rural Ecuador: A Population-Based, Prospective Study.

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School of Medicine, Universidad Espíritu Santo, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
University of Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.
Department of Neurology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.



Stroke is a leading cause of disability in developing countries. However, there are no studies assessing the impact of nonfatal strokes on mortality in rural areas of Latin America. Using a population-based, prospective cohort study, we aimed to assess the influence of nonfatal strokes on all-cause mortality in older adults living in an underserved rural setting.


Deaths occurring during a 5-year period in Atahualpa residents aged ≥60 years were identified from overlapping sources. Tests for equality of survivor functions were used to estimate differences between observed and expected deaths for each covariate investigated. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate Kaplan-Meier survival curves of variables reaching significance in univariate analyses.


Of 437 individuals enrolled over 5 years, follow-up was achieved in 417 (95%), contributing 1776 years of follow-up (average 4.3 ± 1.3 years). Fifty-one deaths were detected, for an overall cumulative 5-year mortality rate of 12.2% (8.9%-15.6%). Being older than 70 years of age, having poor physical activity, edentulism, and history of a nonfatal stroke were related to mortality in univariate analyses. A fully adjusted Cox proportional hazards model showed that having history of a nonfatal stroke (P = 0.024) and being older than 70 years of age (P = 0.031) independently predicted mortality. In contrast, obesity was inversely correlated with mortality (P = 0.047).


A nonfatal stroke and increasing age increase the risk of all-cause mortality in inhabitants of a remote rural village. The body mass index is inversely related to death (obesity paradox).


All-cause mortality; cardiovascular risk factors; community-based study; nonfatal strokes; prospective cohort study

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