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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MAHABIR, Deepak; BICKRAM, Lydia  and  GULLIFORD, Martin C.. Stroke in Trinidad and Tobago: burden of illness and risk factors. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.4, pp.-. ISSN 1680-5348.

This study describes the burden of stroke on hospital services in a Caribbean community. The settings are the two main acute general hospitals in Trinidad observed over a 12-month period. All subjects were admitted with a clinical diagnosis of acute stroke. The measures were hospital admission rates, length of hospital stay, case-fatality rates, disability at discharge, and risk factors for stroke. There were 1 105 hospital admissions with a diagnosis of stroke. The median length of stay was 4 days, with an interquartile range of 2 to 9, and stroke accounted for approximately 9 478 bed days per annum. The hospital admission fatality rate was 29%. Among surviving patients, 437 (56%) were severely disabled at discharge. Age-standardized admission rates for first strokes in persons aged 35_64 years were 114 (95%CI: 83 to 145) per 100 000 in Afro-Trinidadian men and 144 (109 to 179) in Indo-Trinidadian men. The equivalent rates for women were 115 (84 to 146) and 152 (118 to 186). Among patients with first strokes, 348/531 (66%) reported physician-diagnosed hypertension, but only 226 (65%) of these reported being on antihypertensives at admission. Stroke in Trinidad and Tobago is associated with a high case-fatality rate and severe disability in survivors. Modifiable risk factors were reported in a majority of stroke cases, and there is a need to develop effective preventive strategies.

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