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Stroke. 1993 Jun;24(6):796-800.

Long-term survival after first-ever stroke: the Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project.

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Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, U.K.



There have been relatively few community-based studies of long-term prognosis after acute stroke. This study aimed to provide precise estimates of the absolute and relative risks of dying in an unselected cohort of patients with a first-ever stroke.


Six hundred seventy-five patients were registered by a community-based stroke register (the Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project) and prospectively followed up for up to 6.5 years. Their relative risk of death was calculated using age- and sex-specific mortality rates for Oxfordshire.


During the first 30 days, 129 (19%) patients died. Patients who survived at least 30 days after a first-ever stroke thereafter had an average annual risk of death of 9.1%, 2.3-fold the risk in people from the general population. Although the absolute (about 15%) and relative (about threefold) risks of death were highest in these 30-day survivors over the first year after the stroke, they were at increased risk of dying over the next few years (range of relative risk for individual years, 1.1-2.9). Predictably, older patients had a worse absolute survival but, relative to the general population, stroke also increased the relative risk of dying in younger patients. During the first 30 days stroke accounts for most deaths; after this time nonstroke cardiovascular disease becomes increasingly important and is the most common cause of death after the first year.


These data highlight the importance of long-term secondary prevention of vascular events in stroke patients, targeted as much at the cardiovascular as at the cerebrovascular circulation.

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