Global Differences in Risk Factors, Etiology, and Outcome of Ischemic Stroke in Young Adults: A Worldwide Meta-analysis: The GOAL-Initiative.

Jacob, Mina A; Ekker, Merel S; Allach, Youssra; Cai, Mengfei; Aarnio, Karoliina; Arauz, Antonio; Arnold, Marcel; Bae, Hee-Joon; Bandeo, Lucrecia; Barboza, Miguel A; Bolognese, Manuel; Bonardo, Pablo; Brouns, Raf; Chuluun, Batnairamdal; Chuluunbatar, Enkhzaya; Cordonnier, Charlotte; Dagvajantsan, Byambasuren; Debette, Stephanie; Don, Adi; Enzinger, Chris; ... (2022). Global Differences in Risk Factors, Etiology, and Outcome of Ischemic Stroke in Young Adults: A Worldwide Meta-analysis: The GOAL-Initiative. Neurology, 98(6), e573-e588. American Academy of Neurology 10.1212/WNL.0000000000013195

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There is a worldwide increase in the incidence of stroke in young adults, with major regional and ethnic differences. Advancing knowledge of ethnic and regional variation in causes and outcomes will be beneficial in implementation of regional healthcare services. To study the global distribution of risk factors, causes and 3-month mortality of young ischemic stroke patients, by performing a patient data meta-analysis form different cohorts worldwide.


We did a pooled analysis of individual patient data from cohort studies which included consecutive ischemic stroke patients aged 18-50 years. We studied differences in prevalence of risk factors and causes between different ethnic and racial groups, geographic regions and countries with different income levels. We investigated differences in 3-month mortality by mixed-effects multivariable logistic regression.


We included 17,663 patients from 32 cohorts in 29 countries. Hypertension and diabetes were most prevalent in Blacks (hypertension, 52.1%; diabetes, 20.7%) and Asians (hypertension 46.1%, diabetes, 20.9%). Large vessel atherosclerosis and small vessel disease were more often cause of stroke in high-income countries (HICs; both p<0.001), whereas ''other determined stroke'' and ''undetermined stroke'' were higher in low and middle-income countries (LMICs; both p<0.001). Patients in LMICs were younger, had less vascular risk factors, and despite this, more often died within 3 months than those from HICs (OR 2.49; 95% CI 1.42-4.36).


The ethnoracial and regional differences in risk factors and causes of stroke at young age provide an understanding of ethnic and racial, and regional differences in incidence of ischemic stroke. Our results also visualize the dissimilarities in outcome after stroke in young adults that exist between LMICs and HICs, which should serve as call to action to improve healthcare facilities in LMICs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Arnold, Marcel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




American Academy of Neurology




Chantal Kottler

Date Deposited:

25 Jan 2022 12:12

Last Modified:

16 Dec 2022 00:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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