Neurosciences

Did you know: The Truth About Stroke

  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for all Americans and a leading cause of serious long-term disability.
  • Stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and older.
  • 1 in 5 women has a stroke at some point in her life. Stroke is the third leading cause of death for women.
  • Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 out of every 20 deaths.
  • Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes, 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 of 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.
  • Risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks as for whites and blacks have the highest rate of death due to stroke.
  • Though stroke death rates have declined for decades among all race/ethnicities, Hispanics have seen an increase in death rates since 2013.
  • Stroke costs the United States an estimated $34 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat stroke, and missed days of work.

Although stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the number one cause of long-term adult disability, there are many misconceptions about stroke. Here are some of the most common ones.

MYTH

FACT

Stroke cannot be prevented. Up to 80% of strokes are preventable.
There is no treatment for stroke.At any sign of stroke call 9-1-1 immediately. Treatment may be available.
Stroke only affects the elderly. Stroke can happen to anyone at any time.
Stroke happens in the heart.Stroke is a “brain attack.”
Stroke recovery only happens for the first few months after a stroke. Stroke recovery is a lifelong process.
Strokes are rare. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. There are nearly 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S.
Strokes are not hereditary. Family history of stroke increases your chance for stroke.
If stroke symptoms go away, you don’t need to seek medical attention. Temporary stroke symptoms are called transient ischemic attacks (TIA). They are warning signs prior to actual stroke and need medical attention immediately.