Existing criteria for the diagnosis of acute cerebrovascular disease (stroke) have not been satisfactory in epidemiological studies. Variability of the diagnosis of stroke, which had not been studied before, was investigated in a WHO collaborative study. Intra-observer and inter-observer variation of the diagnosis of stroke was studied by means of 45 case reports drawn at random from among those included in the study. Diagnosis of stroke and of the type of stroke was made by clinical judgement and by a scoring method. The clinical diagnosis of stroke was more consistent and more comparable than the diagnosis of the type of stroke. Inter-observer agreement in clinical diagnosis was improved by using the score method
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