Stroke mortality high in developing world

POORER countries often have higher rates of disability and death from stroke than from ischaemic heart disease (IHD), WHO data has shown. 

An analysis found deaths from stroke exceed those from IHD in 40% of countries (74 of 192) and generally in those with a lower per capita income. Disease burden, measured in disability adjusted life years, surpassed that for IHD in almost a third of the countries.

The Pacific Island nation of Kiribati tops both lists with a death rate, and a disease burden, for stroke about 11 times higher than its equivalent figures for IHD.

“In the US, heart disease is still the No. 1 cause of death, but stroke recently went from No. 3 to No. 4,” the authors said. “Whereas, in China, WHO data shows the situation is nearly reversed.”

IHD now accounts for 12.2% and stroke for 9.7% of all deaths, worldwide.

Circulation 2011, online 5 July