Interesting Facts and Statistics About Stroke

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 and figures about stroke, obtained from their 2021 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 2018, 703 American Indian/Alaksa Native people (of all ages) died from stroke.

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

  • Each year, 795,000 people suffer a stroke.
  • On average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States.
  • Ischemic strokes account for 87% of all strokes, while 10% are hemorrhagic strokes and 3% are subarachnoid hemorrhage strokes.

Fraction of Deaths Caused by Stroke in the United States

  • Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States.
  • In 2018, stroke accounted for about 1 of every 19 deaths, causing 147,810 deaths that year.
  • Stroke causes a death every 3 minutes 33 seconds, according to data from 2016.

Top Risk Factors for Stroke

The AHA has identified seven key health behaviors that are major risk factors for stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease:

  • 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 2015 and 2016, 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 2013 to 2016 showed that 9.8% of U.S. adults had been diagnosed with diabetes, while 3.7% had undiagnosed diabetes, and 37.6% 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 13% of all health spending in 2014-2015, more than any other diagnosed condition.
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  1. Virani SS, Alonso A, Aparicio HJ, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics-2021 update: A report from the American Heart AssociationCirculation. 2021;143(8):e254-e743. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000950