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This study sought to summarize the findings of the GBD 2010 (Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors) study for ischemic stroke (IS) and to report the impact of tobacco smoking on IS burden in specific countries. The GBD 2010 searched multiple databases to identify relevant studies published between 1990 and 2010. The GBD 2010 analytical tools were used to calculate region-specific IS incidence, mortality, mortality-to-incidence ratio, and disability-adjusted life years (DALY) lost, including 95% uncertainty intervals (UI). In 2010, there were approximately 11,569,000 incident IS events (63% in low- and middle-income countries [LMIC]), approximately 2,835,000 deaths from IS (57% in LMIC), and approximately 39,389,000 DALY lost due to IS (64% in LMIC). From 1990 to 2010, there was a significant increase in global IS burden in terms of absolute number of people with incident IS (37% increase), deaths from IS (21% increase), and DALY lost due to IS (18% increase). Age-standardized IS incidence, DALY lost, mortality, and mortality-to-incidence ratios in high-income countries declined by about 13% (95% UI: 6% to 18%), 34% (95% UI: 16% to 36%), and 37% (95% UI: 19% to 39%), 21% (95% UI: 10% to 27%), respectively. However, in LMIC there was a modest 6% increase in the age-standardized incidence of IS (95% UI: -7% to 18%) despite modest reductions in mortality rates, DALY lost, and mortality-to-incidence ratios. There was considerable variability among country-specific estimates within broad GBD regions. China, Russia, and India were ranked highest in both 1990 and 2010 for IS deaths attributable to tobacco consumption. Although age-standardized IS mortality rates have declined over the last 2 decades, the absolute global burden of IS is increasing, with the bulk of DALY lost in LMIC. Tobacco consumption is an important modifiable risk factor for IS, and in both 1990 and 2010, the top ranked countries for IS deaths that could be attributed to tobacco consumption were China, Russia, and India. Tobacco control policies that target both smoking initiation and smoking cessation can play an important role in the prevention of IS. In China, Russia, and India, even modest reductions in the number of current smokers could see millions of lives saved due to prevention of IS alone.

Original publication




Journal article


Glob Heart

Publication Date





107 - 112


Adult, Aged, Brain Ischemia, Cost of Illness, Female, Global Health, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Mortality, Quality-Adjusted Life Years, Stroke