, Volume 84, Issue 4, pp 604-614
Date: 11 May 2007

Urbanization and Stroke Prevalence in Taiwan: Analysis of a Nationwide Survey

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Abstract

This study aims to explore the prevalence of strokes among individuals and the association with urbanization levels. A total sample of 9,794 individuals was obtained from a nationwide survey on Taiwan for subsequent analysis in this study. After adjusting for gender, age, other risk factors for stroke and individual socioeconomic status, a multivariate logistic regression model was employed to investigate the relationships existing between the prevalence of strokes and the level of urbanization. This study finds that those living in areas at the highest level of urbanization (level 1) had the highest prevalence of strokes (2.49%). With decreasing urbanization level, there was a general decline in stroke prevalence. After adjusting for other factors, the multivariate logistic regression analyses showed that compared to participants living in the highest urbanization level, the respective odds ratios of suffering a stroke for those living in areas at the lowest levels of urbanization (levels 7 and 8), were 0.43 and 0.30. We conclude that after adjusting for other stroke risk factors, the level of urbanization is an important contributory factor to the overall prevalence of strokes in Taiwan.

Lin is with the School of Health Care Administration and Topnotch Stroke Research Center, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; Lin is with the Department of Public Finance, China University of Technology, Taipei, Taiwan; Liu is with the Department of Public Finance, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan; Chen is with the Department of Economics, National Taipei University, Taipei, Taiwan; Liu and Chen are with the Taipei MunicipalWan Fang Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan; Chiu is with the College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan.