Research and Statistics: How Common Are Strokes?

Strokes are a leading cause of death and disability worldwide. According to the World Stroke Organization, 1 in 4 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. In the United States, stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability.

Here are some statistics on strokes:

  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke.
  • Every 3 minutes and 14 seconds, someone dies of stroke.
  • Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes. About 185,000 strokes—nearly 1 in 4—are in people who have had a previous stroke.
  • About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.
  • About 13% of all strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, in which a blood vessel in the brain leaks or ruptures.
  • The risk of having a stroke increases with age. About 1 in 26 adults aged 25 to 34 will have a stroke in their lifetime. This risk increases to 1 in 6 for adults aged 55 to 64 and 1 in 4 for adults aged 65 and older.
  • Stroke is more common in men than in women.
  • Stroke is more common in African Americans than in Caucasians.
  • Other risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and atrial fibrillation.

Stroke is a serious condition, but it is important to remember that it is not always fatal. With prompt medical attention, many people who have strokes can make a full recovery. If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, it is important to call 911 immediately.

Here are some tips to help prevent strokes:

  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Control your cholesterol.
  • Manage your diabetes.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Take aspirin or another blood thinner if your doctor recommends it.

By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of having a stroke.

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