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Stroke. 1988 Nov;19(11):1345-53.

Stroke incidence and risk factors for stroke in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Stroke incidence in Copenhagen, Denmark was recorded in a random population sample of 19,327 persons invited for two health examinations with 5 years' interval from 1976 to 1983. Stroke incidence increased exponentially with age. After adjustment to the age and sex distribution of the Danish population in 1980, the estimated incidence of first stroke was 1.41/1000 women and 2.48/1000 men; the total incidence was 1.94/1000 population. Risk factor analysis was based on the initial examination of 13,088 persons greater than 35 years old without previous stroke who responded to the first invitation, in whom 295 first strokes were subsequently observed. We used the regression model of Cox. However, our use of this model differs from the somewhat automatic procedures normally used to develop prognostic models. Evaluation of the causative effect of a particular risk factor requires that the direction of mutual influences between the factor in question and other risk factors is established/postulated. Among the 16 potential risk factors for stroke we examined, significant effects were found for age, sex, household income, smoking habits, systolic blood pressure, diabetes, plasma cholesterol concentration, ischemic heart disease, and atrial fibrillation. No significant effect could be demonstrated for a positive family history of stroke, years of school education, marital status, alcohol consumption, daily use of tranquilizers, body mass index, or postmenopausal hormone treatment.

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