Googling the Lifetime Risk of Stroke Around the World

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Objective: We aimed to utilize the data on lifetime risk of stroke, from Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2016, in combination with open data platforms to create an interactive map for use by clinicians and members of the public. Further, we explore the relationship between life expectancy and lifetime risk of stroke.

Design: Enhancing visual display of large volume of data.

Setting: Worldwide estimates of the lifetime risk of stroke obtained from the GBD 2016.

Participants: None.

Intervention: None.

Methods: Data were extracted from a portable document format (pdf) copy of the GBD article on the lifetime risk of stroke and exported into the R programming environment (version 3.4.4). These data were merged with (i) the world map boundary, (ii) open data platforms from the World Bank (life expectancy and income), and (ii) open data from the United Nation Population Prospects 2017. Further we plotted the relationship between the adjusted lifetime risk of stroke and life expectancy.

Outcomes: The map of the global burden of stroke shows a higher lifetime risk of stroke among high-income countries than in low-income countries (https://gntem3.shinyapps.io/strokeglobal/). The greatest risk was among upper-middle-income countries such as China and Eastern and Central European countries such as Latvia and Romania. The lifetime risk of stroke increased in countries with higher life expectancy (β = 0.48 ± 0.047, 95% confidence interval = 0.390–0.574, R2 = 0.38, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Overall life expectancy is a major driver of the lifetime risk of stroke. The interactive map enables clinicians to search information about the lifetime risk of stroke interactively and navigate by zooming in and out, while still retaining high resolution.

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