The burden of stroke in Africa: A glance at the present and a glimpse into the future

Mayowa O. Owolabi, Sally Akarolo-Anthony, Rufus Akinyemi, Donna Arnett, Mulugeta Gebregziabher, Carolyn Jenkins, Hemant Tiwari, Oyedunni Arulogun, Albert Akpalu, Fred Stephen Sarfo, Reginald Obiako, Lukman Owolabi, Kwamena Sagoe, Sylvia Melikam, Abiodun M. Adeoye, Daniel Lackland, Bruce Ovbiagele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

250 Scopus citations


Objective: Information on the current burden of stroke in Africa is limited. The aim of this review was to comprehensively examine the current and projected burden of stroke in Africa. Methods: We systematically reviewed the available literature (PubMed and AJOL) from January 1960 and June 2014 on stroke in Africa. Percentage change in age-adjusted stroke incidence, mortality and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for African countries between 1990 and 2010 were calculated from the Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) model-derived figures. Results: Community-based studies revealed an age-standardised annual stroke incidence rate of up to 316 per 100 000 population, and age-standardised prevalence rates of up to 981 per 100 000. Model-based estimates showed significant mean increases in age-standardised stroke incidence. The peculiar factors responsible for the substantial disparities in incidence velocity, ischaemic stroke proportion, mean age and case fatality compared to high-income countries remain unknown. Conclusions: While the available study data and evidence are limited, the burden of stroke in Africa appears to be increasing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S27-S38
JournalCardiovascular Journal of Africa
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Africa
  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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