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Trends in cerebrovascular diseases mortality in Serbia, 1997-2016: a nationwide descriptive study

09 Feb 2019


Over the last decades, mortality from cerebrovascular diseases (CVDs) has decreased in many countries. The aim of this study was to assess the trends of CVDs mortality in Serbia.


Descriptive epidemiological study. Age-standardised rates (ASRs) for CVDs mortality were assessed by joinpoint regression analysis to identify significant changes in trends and estimate annual per cent changes with 95% CI. The age-period-cohort analysis has been used to describe variations in mortality.


Over this 20-year period, there were 312 847 deaths from CVDs, with the overall average annual ASR of 148.4 per 100 000. The trend of ASRs from CVDs mortality in males in Serbia showed a significant joinpoint: rates insignificantly decreased from 1997 to 2005 by –0.8% per year (95% CI –1.7% to 0.2%) and thereafter rapidly decreased by –5.0% per year (95% CI –5.6% to –4.5%). A joinpoint for females was found in 2006: the mortality trend was first significantly decreasing by –1.0% per year (95% CI –1.9% to –0.0%) and then sharply falling down by –6.0% per year (95% CI –6.8% to –5.3%). Results of age-period-cohort analysis indicated that the relative risk for CVDs mortality showed statistically significant (p<0.05) cohort and period effects, as well as the net drift and local drifts in Serbian population. The trends in mortality for all subtypes of CVDs were similar in both sexes: trends significantly decreased for most subtypes, with the exception of a significant increase for cerebral infarction.


After a decade of increase, CVDs mortality rates are declining in last decade in Serbia. However, mortality rates from CVDs remain exceedingly high in Serbia. Differences in mortality trends of the stroke subtypes should be taken into account in the creation of both prevention and treatment guidelines.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open