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Prevalence and Risk Factors for Stroke in an Adult Population in a Rural Community in the Niger Delta, South–South Nigeria

Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases
DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2013.04.010
  • Stroke
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population
  • Niger Delta
  • Nigeria
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing an epidemiologic transition with stroke contributing to the disease burden. However, community-based stroke prevalence studies are sparse. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of stroke in a rural population in the Niger Delta region in south–south Nigeria and to describe known risk factors for stroke among them. A door-to-door stroke prevalence study was conducted in 2008 among randomly selected adults of 18 years or older in rural Kegbara-Dere community in Rivers State, south–south Nigeria. We administered a modified screening tool by the World Health Organization, a stroke-specific questionnaire, and conducted a physical/neurological examination (on persons screening positive) in 3 stages of assessments. The crude prevalence of stroke was 8.51/1000 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.9-16.1) representing 9 of 1057 participants. The age-adjusted prevalence was 12.3/1000 using the US Population 2000. Men had higher unadjusted prevalence than women (12.9/1000 versus 5.1/1000) but were not at more risk (unadjusted relative risk = .99; 95% CI = .98-1.00). Stroke prevalence increased with age (Mantel–Haenszel χ2P = .00). Hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg) was present in all stroke cases and diabetes mellitus (fasting blood sugar >126 mg/dL) in 1 person, but none had hypercholesterolemia, obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2), or a history of alcohol intake or smoking. Stroke prevalence was found to be high, commoner among men and the elderly population, and likely to be predisposed by hypertension, in rural south–south Nigeria. The need to conduct follow-up studies on the burden and outcomes of stroke among this study population is acknowledged.

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