STEPwise approach to stroke surveillance
Globally, cerebrovascular disease (stroke) is the second leading cause of death. It is a disease that predominantly occurs in mid-age and older adults. WHO estimated that in 2005, stroke accounted for 5.7 million deaths world wide, equivalent to 9.9 % of all deaths. Over 85% of these deaths will have occurred in people living in low and middle income countries and one third will be in people aged less than 70 years.
In response to the need for improvements in stroke data collection, prevention and treatment, WHO has developed an international stroke surveillance system: the STEPwise approach to stroke surveillance (STEPS-stroke) which forms a framework for surveillance and data collection and aims to provide data for all WHO Member States.
STEPS Stroke identifies three different groups of stroke patients who make up the burden of stroke in any given community or population. They are listed in the order of complexity of identifying them:
- Information on stroke patients admitted to heath facilities (Step 1)
- Identification of community-based fatal stroke events (Step 2)
- Estimates of community-based non-fatal stroke events (Step 3)