Over 13 million people will have a stroke this year and around 5.5 million people will die as a result. Stroke can have different short- and long-term effects depending on which part of the brain is affected and how quickly it is treated.
Survivors can experience wide ranging disabilities including difficulties with mobility and speech, as well as how they think and feel. Fast access to treatment saves lives and improves stroke recovery.
Facts and Figures about Stroke
- Stroke is a condition where the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, resulting in oxygen starvation, brain damage and loss of function. It is most frequently caused by a clot in an artery supplying blood to the brain, a situation known as ischemia. It can also be caused by hemorrhage when a burst vessel causes blood to leak into the brain. Stroke can cause permanent damage, including partial paralysis and impairment in speech, comprehension and memory. The extent and location of the damage determines the severity of the stroke, which can range from minimal to catastrophic.
- Stroke has already reached epidemic proportions. Globally 1 in 4 adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime. 13.7 million people worldwide will have their first stroke this year and five and a half million will die as a result. Current trends suggest that the number of annual deaths will climb to 6.7 million annually without appropriate action.
- Stroe is leading cause of death and disability globally with 116m years of healthy life lost each year to the disease.
- Stroke disproportionately affects individuals living in resource-poor countries. From 2000 to 2008, the overall stroke incidence rates in low- to middle-income countries exceeded that of incidence rates seen in high-income countries by 20%. Today, two out of every three people who suffer from a stroke live in low- and middle-income countries.
- One of the main disease processes leading to stroke is atherosclerosis. The incidence of stroke increases significantly with age. There are many other risk factors, including tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, harmful use of alcohol, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, raised blood lipid levels, obesity, male gender, genetic disposition and psychological factors.