Electrocardiographic Assessment of Coronary Artery Disease and Stroke Risk Factors in Rural and Urban Tanzania: A Case–control Study

Document Type



Imaging and Diagnostic Radiology (East Africa)



Although the association between cerebrovascular and coronary artery disease (CAD) is well known in high-income countries, this association is not well documented in black Africans. Aims The aim of this study was to document electrocardiographic (ECG) evidence of CAD in stroke cases and controls and to identify other common ECG abnormalities related to known stroke risk factors in a community-based population of incident stroke cases in Tanzania, East Africa.


This was a case–control study. Incident stroke cases were identified by the Tanzanian Stroke Incidence Project. Age- and sex-matched controls were randomly selected from the background population. Electrocardiograms were manually analyzed using the Minnesota Coding System, looking for evidence of previous myocardial infarction (MI), atrial fibrillation (AF) or atrial flutter (AFl), and left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH).


In Hai, there were 93 cases and 241 controls with codable electrocardiograms, and in Dar-es-Salaam, there were 39 cases and 72 controls with codable electrocardiograms. Comparing cases and controls, there was a higher prevalence of MI and AF or AFl (but not LVH) in cases compared with controls.


This is the first published study of ECG assessment of CAD and other stroke risk factors in an incident population of stroke cases in sub-Saharan Africa. It suggests that concomitant CAD in black African stroke cases is more common than previously suggested.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.