Stroke incidence and survival among middle-aged adults: 9-Year follow- up of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) cohort

Wayne D. Rosamond, Aaron R. Folsom, Lloyd E. Chambless, Chin Hua Wang, Paul G. McGovern, George Howard, Lawton S. Copper, Eyal Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

561 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose-Although stroke mortality rates in the United States are well documented, assessment of incidence rates and case fatality are less well studied. Methods-A cohort of 15 792 men and women aged 45 to 64 years from a population sample of households in 4 US communities was followed from 1987 to 1995, an average of 7.2 years. Incident strokes were identified through annual phone contacts and hospital record searching and were then validated. Results-Of the 267 incident definite or probable strokes, 83% (n=221) were categorized as ischemic strokes, 10% (n=27) were intracerebral hemorrhages, and 7% (n=19) were subarachnoid hemorrhages. The age-adjusted incidence rate (per 1000 person-years) of total strokes was highest among black men (4.44), followed by black women (3.10), white men (1.78), and white women (1.24). The black versus white age-adjusted rate ratio (RR) for ischemic stroke was 2.41 (95% CI, 1.85 to 3.15), which was attenuated to 1.38 (95% CI, 1.01 to 1.89) after adjustment for baseline hypertension, diabetes, education level, smoking status, and prevalent coronary heart disease. There was a tendency for the adjusted case fatality rates to be higher among blacks and men, although none of the case fatality comparisons across sex or race was statistically significant. Conclusions-After accounting for established baseline risk factors, blacks still had a 38% greater risk of incident ischemic stroke compared with whites. Identification of new individual and community-level risk factors accounting for the elevated incidence of stroke requires further investigation and incorporation into intervention planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-743
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


  • Cerebral infarction
  • Epidemiology
  • Intracerebral hemorrhage
  • Racial differences


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