Facts about Stroke

According to the American Stroke Association:

  • Over half of stroke deaths occur in women
  • More men have strokes, but more women die with strokes
  • 700,000 individuals have a new or recurrent stroke each year
  • About 4.7 million stroke survivors are alive today therefore... stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability
  • If you combine the annual health care dollars spent on heart disease and cancer, it is less than the money spent on stroke treatment each year
  • Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65 and the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55
  • For African Americans, stroke is more common and more deadly - even in young and middle-aged adults - than for any ethnic or other racial group in the United States
  • Twice as many women die of stroke than breast cancer every year
  • One half of all African American women will die from stroke or heart disease.
  • High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke, and one in three African Americans suffer from high blood pressure
  • New treatments are available that greatly reduce the damage caused by a stroke, but you need to arrive at the hospital within 60 minutes after symptoms start to prevent disability.
  • Knowing stroke symptoms, calling 911 immediately, and getting to a hospital are critical.
  • 320,000 preventable strokes per year by controlling hypertension
  • Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death.
  • Both coronary heart disease and stroke share many of the same risk factors such as cholesterol disorders, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese
  • Individuals with coronary heart disease, angina, or who have had a heart attack due to atherosclerosis, have more than twice the risk of stroke than those who haven’t.
  • If you have atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries you are very likely to have atherosclerosis in other parts of your body.
  • Healthy food habits can help you reduce three risk factors for heart attack and stroke — high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight
  • Nearly one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, but because there are no symptoms, nearly one-third of these people don't know they have it
  • High blood pressure is the No. 1 modifiable risk factor for stroke. It also contributes to heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in arteries). Other modifiable risk factors include: hypercholesterolemia, atrial fibrillation, cigarette smoking, cardiac disease, diabetes mellitus, carotid or other artery disease, cocaine abuse, heavy alcohol use, physical inactivity and obesity
  • Nonmodifiable risk factors:
    • A prior stroke or pre-existing cardiovascular disease such as heart attack other than stroke
    • A prior transient ischemic attack (a temporary interruption of the brain's blood supply, often called a mini-stroke)
    • Age: 60 or older
    • Family members who have had a stroke
    • Gender: males are at greater risk than females
    • Race: Black, Asian, Hispanic
    • Blood disorders which increase clotting in sickle cell disease and polycythemia
    • Valvular disease such as mitral stenosis