Stroke survivors in Nigeria: A door-to-door prevalence survey from the Niger Delta region
Journal of the Neurological Sciences
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The burden of stroke has been projected to increase in low-and middle-income countries due to the ongoing epidemiological transition. However, community-based stroke prevalence studies are sparse in sub-Saharan Africa particularly in Nigeria. This study aimed to provide a comparative estimate of the prevalence of stroke survivors in the rural Niger Delta region. A three-phased door–to-door survey was conducted using WHO modified instruments. In the first-phase, 2028 adults (≥ 18 years) participants randomly selected from two rural communities were screened by trained health research assistants for probable stroke. In the second phase, suspected cases were screened with stroke-specific tool. Positive cases were made to undergo complete neurological evaluation by two study neurologist in phase-three. Stroke diagnosis was based on clinical evaluation using WHO criteria. Overall, 27 (8 first-ever and 19 recurrent cases) stroke survivors with crude prevalence of 13.31/1000 (95% CI, 8.32–18.31) and a non-significant difference in prevalence between the two study communities were found, (P = 0.393I). In addition, age-adjusted prevalence of stroke survivors was 14.6/1000 person, about 7-folds higher than previous estimates outside the Niger Delta region. The prevalence increases significantly with advancing in age, P < 0·001. Among others, hypertension (92.59%) was the commonest risk factor and comorbidity found. Improved stroke surveillance and care, as well as better management of the underlying risk factors, primarily undetected or uncontrolled high blood pressure, remains a public health priority.