According to World Health Organization (WHO) Global Health Estimates in 2012, stroke was the second leading cause of death and the third leading cause of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost globally. A systematic review that synthesized 12 population-based studies from 10 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and 44 studies from 18 high-income countries (HICs) found significant disparities in stroke incidence trends between HICs and LMICs.
Over the past four decades, stroke incidence decreased 42% in HICs, but increased more than 100% in LMICs.
From 2000 to 2008, estimated stroke incidence rates in LMICs surpassed those in HICs by about 20%
Stroke has created heavy social and economic burdens in LMICs
In China in 2004, the average cost for a stroke admission was two times the annual income of rural residents, and the cost of stroke care for the government-funded hospitals increased 117% annually between 2003 and 2007.