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Stroke is a medical emergency. With timely treatment, the risk of death and disability from stroke can be lowered. It’s important to know the symptoms and act in time; the first 3 hours are critical, brain cells are dying.

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Stroke Facts

Stroke affects over 800,000 Americans every year. About 610,000 of these are first strokes. About 200,000 occur in people who have already had a stroke.

Over 160,000 Americans die from stroke each year.

Smoking is the leading preventable risk factor for strokes. Smokers are 4 times more likely to have a stroke than non-smokers. Exposure to second-hand smoke may double a non-smokers risk.

Strokes can and do occur at any age.

Stroke is the number one cause of adult disability in the U.S.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. behind heart disease and cancer.

80% of strokes are preventable through lifestyle modification, control of risk factors and basic medical care.

Death and disability can be reduced by 30% if the signs of stroke are promptly recognized and patients are immediately transported to a Primary Stroke Center.

Every 45 seconds someone has a stroke, every 3 minutes someone dies of stroke.

High blood pressure is the number one risk factor.

Southeastern U.S. has the highest stroke mortality rate.

There are more than 6 million stroke survivors living today in the U.S. and two-thirds of them are disabled.

According to the American Heart Association stroke will cost almost $68.9 billion in both direct and indirect costs in 2009.

Nearly 75% of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65, nearly 25% occur in people under the age of 65.

The risk of stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55.

Stroke death rates are higher in African American than for whites, even at younger ages.

One third of all stroke survivors are diagnosed with Aphasia (difficulty speaking or comprehending language).

Over 1 million Americans currently have Aphasia, more than those of Parkinson’s Disease, MS, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

Stroke disrupts every aspect of meaningful life and is very difficult for families, as family members assume added roles and responsibilities in addition to coping with the illness of a loved one.

Statistics do not convey the personal distress of those who live with the consequences of stroke.



Adler Aphasia Center

American Stroke Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Stroke Association

Peninsula Stroke Association

Stroke Awareness Foundation