Methodology of a population-based stroke and TIA incidence and outcomes study: The Auckland Regional Community Stroke Study (ARCOS IV) 2011–2012
- Conflict of interest: None declared.
- Funding: The study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (10/458).
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Stroke burden is immense as it leads to premature deaths, leaves survivors with ongoing disabilities, and has a major financial impact on the individual, their families, and the community. Reliable, high-quality evidence is needed on stroke risk factors, incidence, and outcomes to provide information on how best to reduce this burden. Population-based studies are regarded as the ‘gold-standard’ of measuring disease burden but are not common due to the logistical and financial challenges they present. The Auckland Regional Community Stroke Studies are among a few in the world that have been carried out at a population level and at regular intervals.
The aim of the fourth Auckland Regional Community Stroke Studies IV is to examine the current measures of stroke incidence, prevalence, and outcomes as well the trends over four decades. This article describes the methodology of the Auckland Regional Community Stroke Studies IV with stroke and transient ischemic attacks cases registered over a 12-month period from March 1, 2011 to February 29, 2012.
The methodology described may be used as a guide in order to design similar population-based stroke incidence and outcome studies in other countries and populations, thus facilitating the collection of most consistent and accurate stroke epidemiological data.