Background: The incidence of intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) in Hispanics is high, especially of non-lobar ICH. Our aim was to ascertain prospectively the incidence of first-ever spontaneous ICH (SICH) stratified by localisation in a Hispanic-Mestizo population of the north of Chile. Methods: Between July 2000 and June 2002 all possible cases of ICH were ascertained from multiple overlapping sources. The cases were allocated according to localisation. Those with vascular malformations or non-identifiable localisations were excluded. Results: We identified a total of 69 cases of first-ever ICH. Of these, 64 (92.7%) had SICH, of which we allocated 58 cases (84%) to non-lobar or lobar localisation. The mean age was 57.3 ± 17 years, and 62.3% of the subjects were male. The age-adjusted incidence rates were 13.8 (non-lobar) and 4.9 (lobar) per 100,000 person-years. Non-lobar SICH was more frequent in young males and lobar SICH in older women. The non-lobar-to-lobar ratio was similar to previous findings in Hispanics. Hypertension was more frequent in non-lobar SICH and in diabetes, heavy drinking and antithrombotic use in lobar SICH, but in none significantly. There was no association between localisation and prognosis. Conclusions: The incidence of non-lobar SICH was high, but lower than in most non-white populations. This lower incidence could be due to a lower population prevalence of risk factors, a higher socioeconomic level in this population, or chance.

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