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Stroke Prevalence and Epidemiology

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Stroke Prevalence

Stroke is said to be the leading cause of chronic disability, the second leading cause of dementia, and the fourth leading cause of death in the United States (U.S.). In Malaysia, stroke was recorded as the second leading cause of death according to the Malaysian National Burden of Diseases Study and study on vital registry system in 2000.

In 2009, stroke is listed as the third leading cause of mortality for males, after ischaemic heart disease and pneumonia.

Meanwhile for females, it was ranked second after ischaemic heart disease.

The prevalence of stroke in Malaysia is estimated to be 0.3% among Malaysians during the third National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) in 2006.

In the fourth NHMS survey in 2011, the prevalence of stroke was reported as 0.7%,

  • 1.7% = 55-59 years
  • 2% = 60-64 years
  • 3% = 65-69 years
  • 5% = 70-74 years
  • 8% = 75 years and beyond

The same survey also illustrated higher prevalence of stroke among those divorced or widowed (2.5%) compared to single (0.1%) and married (0.9%).

Epidemiology of Stroke

Stroke Factors

The mean age of stroke onset in Malaysia was between

54.5 and 62.6 years.

A comparison of the Malaysian and Australian stroke registries on young adults aged between 18 and 49 years, showed comparable age of onset as well as gender ratio for ischaemic stroke. The mean age was 41.5±8.8 years for Malaysia and 40.1±8.8 years for Australia with a sex ratio of male to female 1.4: 1 and 1.54: 1, respectively.

Another study also showed that 92% of stroke patients aged ≥50 years, and males (52%) were affected more than females. Malaysian patients with stroke are approximately 10 years younger than patients in developed countries (62.8 versus 72.3 years)
Up to two-third of reported stroke cases in Malaysia were of ischaemic origin, with the remaining one-third being haemorrhagic (intracerebral and subarachnoid haemorrhages).
Health conditions are also a risk factor to stroke which is led by hypertension and followed by diabetes, ischemic heart disease, cardiovascular diseases and dyslipidaemia. These health conditions are also found higher among males. Other than that, lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity are also found to contribute to stroke risk, some of which are dose dependent. Depression and dementia are also found to be associated with stroke.


  1. Aziz, Z., Lee, Y. Y., Awang Ngah, B., Sidek, N. N., Looi, I., Hanip, M. R., & Basri, H. (2015). Acute Stroke Registry Malaysia, 2010-2014: Results from the National Neurology Registry. Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases: the official journal of National Stroke Association.
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