Interesting Facts and Statistics About Stroke

The American Heart Association (AHA) 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 and figures about stroke, obtained from their 2022 report.

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Percentage of Adults From Each Race Affected by Stroke

The following statistics outline the percentage of adults in each race who have had a previous stroke, as measured between the years 2015 to 2018:

  • Blacks: 4.1% of males and 4.9% of females
  • Whites: 2.3% of males and 2.5% of females
  • Asians/Pacific Islanders: 1.4% of males and 1.0% of females
  • Hispanic/Latinos: 2.4% of males and 1.7% of females

In 2019, 741 American Indian/Alaska Native people (of all ages) died from stroke.

Statistics on the Number of People Affected by Stroke Each Year in the United States

Fraction of Deaths Caused by Stroke in the United States

  • Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2019, stroke accounted for about 1 of every 19 deaths, causing 150,005 deaths that year.
  • Stroke causes a death every 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Top Risk Factors for Stroke

The AHA has identified seven key modifiable risk factors for heart disease and stroke:

  • Smoking: Tobacco use is one of the leading preventable causes of death in the U.S.
  • Physical inactivity: In 2018, 25.4% of U.S. adults did not engage in physical activity.
  • Nutrition: Between 2017 and 2018, the AHA healthy diet score measuring the prevalence of a healthy diet improved in comparison to the same metric measured between 2003 and 2004.
  • Overweight/obesity: In 2018, the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adults was 42.4%. In 2000, the prevalence was 30.5%.
  • Cholesterol: According to data from 2015 to 2018, 38.1% of U.S. adults (approximately 93.9 million) had a total cholesterol score of 200 mg/dL or higher.
  • Diabetes: Data from 2015 to 2018 showed that 10.4% of U.S. adults had been diagnosed with diabetes, while 3.8% had undiagnosed diabetes, and 45.8% had prediabetes.
  • High blood pressure: According to data from 2015 to 2018, 47.3% of adults had hypertension.

Other Important Statistics About Stroke

  • The risk for stroke in Blacks is almost twice that of whites.
  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes stroke, accounts for more deaths each year than cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease (CLRD) combined.
  • Between 2015 and 2018, 126.9 million Americans had some form of CVD.
  • CVD and stroke accounted for 12% of all health spending in 2017–2018, more than any other diagnosed condition.
1 Source
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2022 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2022;145(8):e153-e639. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000001052

By Jose Vega MD, PhD
Jose Vega MD, PhD, is a board-certified neurologist and published researcher specializing in stroke.