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Incidence of stroke, transient ischaemic attack and determinants of poststroke mortality among immigrants in Denmark, 2004‒2018: a population-based cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • George Frederick Mkoma
  • Søren Paaske Johnsen
  • Helle Klingenberg Iversen
  • Grethe Andersen
  • Marie Norredam
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OBJECTIVE: Using recent registry data, we aimed to quantify the incidence of stroke and transient ischaemic attack (TIA) and to examine factors influencing the risk of poststroke mortality among immigrants compared with Danish-born individuals.

DESIGN: Population-based cohort study between 2004 and 2018. We estimated age-standardised incidence rate ratios (IRR) of stroke, stroke types and TIA for each ethnic group using Danish-born individuals as the reference by direct method of standardisation. We calculated the risk of poststroke mortality using Cox proportional hazard regression.

SETTING: The study was conducted using Danish nationwide registers.

PARTICIPANTS: All cases of first-ever stroke and TIA by country of origin (n=132 936) were included.

RESULTS: Overall, Western immigrants (IRR=2.25; 95% CI 2.20 to 2.31) and non-Western immigrants (IRR=1.37; 95% CI 1.30 to 1.44) had a higher risk of stroke than Danish-born individuals. The risk of TIA was higher in Western immigrants (IRR=2.08; 95% CI 1.93 to 2.23) followed by non-Western immigrants (IRR=1.45; 95% CI 1.27 to 1.63) than in Danish-born individuals. All-cause 1-year mortality hazard was higher but not significantly different in non-Western men (adjusted HR=1.38; 95% CI 0.92 to 2.08) compared with Danish-born men and additional adjustment for comorbidities reduced the HR to 0.85 (0.51 to 1.40) among ischaemic stroke cases. Among intracerebral haemorrhage cases, the adjusted mortality hazard was decreased in Western men (from HR of 1.76; 95% CI 1.09 to 2.85 to HR of 1.30; 95% CI 0.80 to 2.11) compared with Danish-born men after adjustment for stroke severity. Immigrants with ≤15 years of residence had a lower poststroke mortality hazard than Danish-born individuals after additional adjustment for sociodemographic factors (HR=0.36; 95% CI 0.14 to 0.91).

CONCLUSIONS: The age-standardised risk of stroke and TIA was significantly higher among the majority of immigrants than Danish-born individuals. Interventions that reduce the burden of comorbidities, improve acute stroke care and target sociodemographic factors may address the higher risk of poststroke mortality among immigrants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere049347
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2021. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

    Research areas

  • epidemiology, public health, stroke

ID: 68559732