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Chinese People May Be at Higher Risk for Stroke than Caucasians

A new study suggests that Chinese people may be at higher risk for stroke than Caucasians. The research is published in the July 16, 2013, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“While stroke is the second most-common cause of death worldwide, in China it is the leading cause of death and adult disability,” said study author Chung-Fen Tsai, MD, with the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“The global impact of stroke in the decades ahead is predicted to be greatest in middle income countries, including China. It is important to gain a better understanding of how stroke affects different populations as we try to reduce the burden of the disease worldwide.”

For the analysis, researchers reviewed studies from 1990 onward that included first strokes in Chinese people in China and Taiwan. A total of 404,254 Chinese were included. The study included more than two million person-years and 3,935 strokes.

The researchers also identified 10 community-based studies among Caucasians including 1,885,067 people, more than 3.2 million person-years and 4,568 strokes.

Comparing the two groups, the research found a slightly higher overall risk of stroke in Chinese people than in Caucasians, with a range of 205 to 584 strokes per 100,000 Chinese people age 45 to 74, compared to 170 to 335 strokes per 100,000 Caucasian people the same age. Chinese also had a higher risk of intracerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke due to bleeding into the brain from a ruptured blood vessel, compared to Caucasian people, or 33 percent of all strokes compared to 12 percent of all strokes in community-based studies. Chinese people had a lower average age of stroke onset of 66 to 70 years-old, compared to 72 to 76 years-old for Caucasians.

The study was supported by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan and the Scottish Funding Council.

To learn more about stroke, please visit

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 26,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit

Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
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