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Interesting Facts and Statistics About Stroke


Updated May 28, 2014

Senior woman with headache
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The American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee produce estimates and facts about stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in the United States. Below are some interesting facts about stroke, obtained from their 2007 report.

What percent of adults from each race is affected by stroke?

  • American Indians/Alaska Natives: 5.3%
  • African Americans: 3.2%
  • Whites: 2.5%
  • Asians: 2.4%

How many people suffer a stroke each year in the United States?

  • Each year 700,000 people suffer a stroke. Five hundred thousand of these strokes are first occurrences, while the rest are repeat strokes.
  • Every 45 seconds someone has a stroke in the United States

What are the most common types of stroke?


  1. Thrombotic Stroke 61.5%
  2. Embolic Stroke 23.5%
  3. Intracerebral Hemorrhage 8.6%
  4. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage 5.4%
  5. Other 1.1%


  1. Thrombotic Stroke 59%
  2. Cerebral Embolus 26.2%
  3. Intracerebral Hemorrhage 8.0%
  4. Subarachnoid Hemorrhage 5.4%
  5. Other 1.3%

What fraction of deaths in the United States is caused by stroke?

  • Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the United States.
  • Stroke accounts for about 1 of every 16 deaths
  • It causes a death every 3 to 4 minutes

How do people fare after a stroke?

In one study performed six months after a stroke in people who were older than sixty-five years of age:

  • 30% needed assistance to walk
  • 26% needed help with activities such as cooking, feeding, and paying their bills
  • 19% had trouble speaking, or understanding others when they speak
  • 35% had feelings of depression
  • 50% had some degree of paralysis on one side of the body
  • 26% became nursing home residents

What are the top 3 risk factors for stroke?

Transient Ischemic Attack

  • Approximately half of the people who experience a TIA are unaware of the event.
  • Up to a 25% people who suffer a TIA die within one year.
  • Up to 17% of all TIAs are followed by a stroke; most of them within 30 days of their occurrence.
  • Approximately 15% of all strokes are preceded by a TIA.

I had a TIA recently. Will I suffer a stroke in the future? Based on epidemiological studies the people who are most likely to suffer a stroke after a TIA are:

  • People over 60 years of age
  • People with diabetes mellitus
  • People whose TIA cause weakness in the face arm or leg on one side of the body, speech impairment, or symptoms that last longer than 10 minutes.

Up to 30% of TIAs leave brain damage which is detectable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

How many people who suffer a stroke make it to the hospital on time to be treated?

  • Only 20% to 25% of patients who are admitted to the hospital with a stroke arrive in the emergency department within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms.
  • Fewer than 9% of ischemic strokes receive treatment with tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), a blood thinner.

Other Important Statistics About Stroke

  • The risk for stroke in blacks is almost twice that of whites.
  • Over 43% of people over 85 have suffered a silent stroke.
  • The estimated total cost of stroke for 2007 is $62.7 billion.
  • Up to 40% of people in a recent study could not identify a single symptom of stroke.

Source:American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee

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