Objectives: In Korea, stroke ranks as one of the leading causes of death along with cancer and ischemic heart disease. The purpose of this study was to better understand clinical characteristics, risk factors and subtypes of acute stroke among Korean people. Method: 1,654 acute stroke patients within 7 days of onset were consecutively enrolled in the Hallym Stroke Registry (HSR). The study was a prospective hospital-based registry aided with a web-based, computerized data bank system. The project began in January 1996 and the data obtained until September 2002 were analyzed. The analysis was basically carried out regarding demographic features, risk factors, time elapsed before coming to the hospitals after the symptom onset, duration of hospitalization, and 30-day mortality rate. Results: 1,567 patients had ischemic stroke and 87 patients had hemorrhagic stroke. The mean age of the patients was 63.6 ± 11.8 years, and 815 patients (56.8%) were men. The estimated time interval between stroke onset and hospital visit was 1.3 days on average and the mean duration of hospital stay was 12.1 days. Only a small fraction (12%) of patients reached the hospital within 3 h after the symptom onset. As for the risk factors, hypertension topped for both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes followed by smoking and prior history of stroke, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cardioembolism. With respect to subtype classification of ischemic stroke, large-artery atherosclerosis was most frequent (42.0%), followed by small-vessel occlusion (31.0%), cardioembolism (8.7%), other determined etiology (1.9%), and undetermined etiology (16.4%). The 30-day mortality rate was 7.2%. Conclusion: In the HSR, demographic features were essentially comparable with other major registries. However, the data analysis varies from registry to registry. This may in part be due to a different study design, racial-ethnic differences and patient selection methods.

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