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Stroke prevalence among the Spanish elderly: an analysis based on screening surveys

Author(s): Boix Raquel | del Barrio José | Saz Pedro | Reñé Ramón | Manubens José | Lobo Antonio | Gascón Jordi | de Arce Ana | Díaz-Guzmán Jaime | Bergareche Alberto | Bermejo-Pareja Félix | de Pedro-Cuesta Jesús

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 36;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Abstract Background This study sought to describe stroke prevalence in Spanish elderly populations and compare it against that of other European countries. Methods We identified screening surveys -both published and unpublished- in Spanish populations, which fulfilled specific quality requirements and targeted prevalence of stroke in populations aged 70 years and over. Surveys covering seven geographically different populations with prevalence years in the period 1991–2002 were selected, and the respective authors were then asked to provide descriptions of the methodology and raw age-specific data by completing a questionnaire. In addition, five reported screening surveys in European populations furnished useful data for comparison purposes. Prevalence data were combined, using direct adjustment and logistic regression. Results The overall study population, resident in central and north-eastern Spain, totalled 10,647 persons and yielded 715 cases. Age-adjusted prevalences, using the European standard population, were 7.3% for men, 5.6% for women, and 6.4% for both sexes. Prevalence was significantly lower in women, OR 0.79 95% CI 0.68–0.93, increased with age, particularly among women, and displayed a threefold spatial variation with statistically significant differences. Prevalences were highest, 8.7%, in suburban, and lowest, 3.8%, in rural populations. Compared to pooled Spanish populations, statistically significant differences were seen in eight Italian populations, OR 1.39 95%CI (1.18–1.64), and in Kungsholmen, Sweden, OR 0.40 95%CI (0.27–0.58). Conclusion Prevalence in central and north-eastern Spain is higher in males and in suburban areas, and displays a threefold geographic variation, with women constituting the majority of elderly stroke sufferers. Compared to reported European data, stroke prevalence in Spain can be said to be medium and presents similar age- and sex-specific traits.
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