First stroke more likely and earlier in men

The incidence rate of first stroke is 28% higher in men than women, and on average occurs 5 years earlier, according to new estimates from Public Health England (

Its analysis of the data from the Health Improvement Network, a general practice database, reports on the incidence of first ever stroke in England during 2016 and trends in incidence and socioeconomic factors. This updates earlier estimates that are unreliable because they are partly based on small populations or selective data capture.

In 2016, the absolute number of first strokes was higher in men (29,000) than women (28,000). After adjustment to the 2013 European standard population, the incidence rate among men was 1.28 per 1,000 and 1.00 per 1,000 among women. Men also experienced first stroke at a younger age (mean 68.2 vs 73.0 years). First stroke was more frequent among men than women at all ages up to 90 years, peaking about a decade earlier among 70 – 79 year-olds.

Incidence rates increased with higher deprivation scores but differences among clearly defined ethnic groups were smaller than between men and women.

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