Publication Date



Military Medical Research


Since 2015, stroke has become the leading cause of death and disability in China, posing a significant threat to the health of its citizens as a major chronic non-communicable disease. According to the China Stroke High-risk Population Screening and Intervention Program, an estimated 17.8 million [95% confidence interval (CI) 17.6–18.0 million] adults in China had experienced a stroke in 2020, with 3.4 million (95% CI 3.3–3.5 million) experiencing their first-ever stroke and another 2.3 million (95% CI 2.2–2.4 million) dying as a result. Additionally, approximately 12.5% (95% CI 12.4–12.5%) of stroke survivors were left disabled, as defined by a modified Rankin Scale score greater than 1, equating to 2.2 million (95% CI 2.1–2.2 million) stroke-related disabilities in 2020. As the population ages and the prevalence of risk factors like diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia continues to rise and remains poorly controlled, the burden of stroke in China is also increasing. A large national epidemiological survey initiated by the China Hypertension League in 2017 showed that the prevalence of hypertension was 24.7%; the awareness, treatment, and control rates in hypertensive patients were: 60.1%, 42.5%, and 25.4%, respectively. A nationally representative sample of the Chinese mainland population showed that the weighted prevalence of total diabetes diagnosed by the American Diabetes Association criteria was 12.8%, suggesting there are 120 million adults with diabetes in China, and the awareness, treatment, and control rates in diabetic patients were: 43.3%, 49.0%, and 49.4%, respectively. The “Sixth National Health Service Statistical Survey Report in 2018” showed that the proportion of the obese population in China was 37.4%, an increase of 7.2 points from 2013. Data from 1599 hospitals in the Hospital Quality Monitoring System and Bigdata Observatory Platform for Stroke of China (BOSC) showed that a total of 3,418,432 stroke cases [mean age ± standard error (SE) was (65.700 ± 0.006) years, and 59.1% were male] were admitted during 2020. Of those, over 80% (81.9%) were ischemic stroke (IS), 14.9% were intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) strokes, and 3.1% were subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) strokes. The mean ± SE of hospitalization expenditures was Chinese Yuan (CNY) (16,975.6 ± 16.3), ranging from (13,310.1 ± 12.8) in IS to (81,369.8 ± 260.7) in SAH, and out-of-pocket expenses were (5788.9 ± 8.6), ranging from (4449.0 ± 6.6) in IS to (30,778.2 ± 156.8) in SAH. It was estimated that the medical cost of hospitalization for stroke in 2020 was CNY 58.0 billion, of which the patient pays approximately CNY 19.8 billion. In-hospital death/discharge against medical advice rate was 9.2% (95% CI 9.2–9.2%), ranging from 6.4% (95% CI 6.4–6.5%) for IS to 21.8% for ICH (95% CI 21.8–21.9%). From 2019 to 2020, the information about 188,648 patients with acute IS receiving intravenous thrombolytic therapy (IVT), 49,845 patients receiving mechanical thrombectomy (MT), and 14,087 patients receiving bridging (IVT + MT) were collected through BOSC. The incidence of intracranial hemorrhage during treatment was 3.2% (95% CI 3.2–3.3%), 7.7% (95% CI 7.5–8.0%), and 12.9% (95% CI 12.3–13.4%), respectively. And in-hospital death/discharge against medical advice rate was 8.9% (95% CI 8.8–9.0%), 16.5% (95% CI 16.2–16.9%), and 16.8% (95% CI 16.2–17.4%), respectively. A prospective nationwide hospital-based study was conducted at 231 stroke base hospitals (Level III) from 31 provinces in China through BOSC from January 2019 to December 2020 and 136,282 stroke patients were included and finished 12-month follow-up. Of those, over 86.9% were IS, 10.8% were ICH strokes, and 2.3% were SAH strokes. The disability rate [% (95% CI)] in survivors of stroke at 3-month and 12-month was 14.8% (95% CI 14.6–15.0%) and 14.0% (95% CI 13.8–14.2%), respectively. The mortality rate [% (95% CI)] of stroke at 3-month and 12-month was 4.2% (95% CI 4.1–4.3%) and 8.5% (95% CI 8.4–8.6%), respectively. The recurrence rate [% (95% CI)] of stroke at 3-month and 12-month was 3.6% (95% CI 3.5–3.7%) and 5.6% (95% CI 5.4–5.7%), respectively. The Healthy China 2030 Stroke Action Plan was launched as part of this review, and the above data provide valuable guidelines for future stroke prevention and treatment efforts in China.


Stroke, Epidemiological characteristics, Treatment, Prognosis, China


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