(HealthDay News) – Chinese populations have slightly higher overall stroke incidence and a higher proportion of intracerebral hemorrhage, compared with white populations, according to a review published in the July 16 issue of Neurology.

Chung-Fen Tsai, MD, from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, and colleagues reviewed the literature to identify studies conducted since 1990 in Chinese populations to examine the incidence of first-ever stroke (community-based studies only) and pathologic types/subtypes of stroke (hospital- or community-based studies of first-ever or recurrent strokes). A recently published systematic review was used to identify community-based studies in white populations. The age-standardized stroke incidence was calculated.

The researchers found that the annual first-ever stroke incidence was higher among Chinese populations than white populations (for ages 45–74 years, range 205–584 vs. 170–335 per 100,000, respectively), based on community studies. A larger and more variable proportion of strokes resulted from intracerebral hemorrhage in China (range, 27–51%) vs. Taiwan (range 17–28%), in Chinese community-based (27–51%) vs. hospital-based studies (17–30%), and in community-based Chinese vs. white studies (pooled proportion, 33% vs. 12%). Variable study methodologies prevented reliable comparisons, although the overall proportion of lacunar ischemic stroke seemed higher in Chinese vs. white populations.

“There is good evidence for a slightly higher overall stroke incidence and higher proportion of intracerebral hemorrhage in Chinese vs. white populations, but no clear evidence for different distributions of ischemic stroke subtypes,” the authors write.

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