If you or a loved one recently experienced a stroke, then you’ll know just how life-changing it can be. Knowledge is your best defense when taking preventative measures against strokes, and it’s your greatest tool when recovering from one.
Understanding stroke statistics can help you grasp the severity and impact of strokes on your health. They allow us to discern the risk factors, commonality, and the financial burden this disease imposes on individuals and the healthcare system.
This article will provide an abundance of statistics so you are better informed about the nature of strokes and how they affect stroke victims in the U.S.
At LightSpring Home Care, we are a team of professionals providing quality home care services.
Our commitment extends beyond addressing the basic needs of our patients—we serve as advocates for their physical and emotional well-being, employing our core values of clinical excellence, patient-centered care, community engagement, quality and continuous improvement, and integrity to guide our approach.
Being more than a simple home care agency, we also have a special stroke recovery program that helps patients build back their lives after suffering a stroke.
If you want to know more about how we help stroke survivors thrive in their own homes, contact us today.
Prevalence of Strokes
Strokes are more prevalent than many realize, and their frequency has significant implications for individual health, public health policy, and healthcare costs. Understanding the statistics can help identify at-risk groups and guide preventative measures.
How Often Does Someone in the U.S. Have a Stroke?
Every 40 seconds, a person in the United States suffers a stroke, a staggering figure that underscores the importance of stroke prevention and awareness. This frequency amounts to approximately 795,000 individuals experiencing a stroke each year.
A large portion of these, about 610,000, are experiencing a stroke for the first time, emphasizing the need for widespread awareness and preventative measures.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
What Type of Stroke is Most Common?
Ischemic strokes are the most common type, accounting for about 87% of all strokes, but there are other types of strokes as well.
1. Ischemic Stroke
As previously mentioned, ischemic strokes are the most common stroke affecting Americans. These occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked, often due to a clot, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to brain tissues.
The clot could form in an artery that is already very narrow, which is known as a thrombotic stroke, or it could develop elsewhere, travel through the bloodstream to the brain, and become lodged in a brain artery, which is known as an embolic stroke.
Source: Mayo Clinic
2. Hemorrhagic Stroke
Hemorrhagic strokes are less common, accounting for about 13% of stroke cases. They occur when a weakened blood vessel in the brain bursts and spills blood into surrounding brain tissue. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue.
There are two types of hemorrhagic strokes: intracerebral (within the brain) hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Intracerebral hemorrhage is the most common type of hemorrhagic stroke. It occurs when an artery in the brain bursts, flooding the surrounding tissue with blood. In a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a bleeding artery on or near the surface of the brain pours blood into the space between the skull and the brain.
Source: Cleveland Clinic
3. Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs)
Often called “mini-strokes,” Transient Ischemic Attacks are not full-blown strokes but are serious warning signs of a possible future stroke. TIAs are temporary blockages of blood flow to the brain, but they don’t typically cause permanent damage.
However, they are a serious warning sign that a full stroke may happen in the future if nothing is done to prevent it. In fact, the chances of suffering an ischemic stroke within three months after a TIA is between 7.5% and 17.3%. It is essential to seek medical attention if you think you’ve had a TIA.
Source: American Heart Association
What Race is Most At Risk For Strokes?
The risk of experiencing a first stroke varies significantly with race and ethnicity. Non-Hispanic Black adults are nearly twice as likely to have a first stroke compared to White adults. Black men are 70% more likely to die from a stroke than non-Hispanic White men.
Non-Hispanic Black adults and Pacific Islander adults also have the highest rates of death due to stroke.
Age-adjusted percentage of stroke among persons 18 years of age and over, 2018
Non-Hispanic Black /
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; table source
What is the Most Common Age For Strokes?
Stroke is often associated with aging, as the risk of having a stroke doubles each decade after the age of 55. However, strokes can occur at any age, and there has been a significant increase in the number of young adults and even children experiencing strokes.
In 2014, 38% of people hospitalized for stroke were less than 65 years old, which is a sizable proportion. This underscores the importance of being aware of stroke symptoms and risk factors regardless of age.
The risk factors for stroke in younger individuals often overlap with those in older adults and can include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, and obesity. However, some conditions that increase stroke risk are more common in younger individuals. These can include certain genetic or inherited disorders, heart conditions like congenital heart defects or irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), the use of illicit drugs, or the use of oral contraceptives, especially in women who smoke or have a history of high blood pressure.
It’s crucial for everyone, regardless of age, to be aware of the symptoms of a stroke. Immediate treatment is vital to minimize brain damage and potential complications.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Campbell County Health statistics.
What Are the Most Common Conditions Associated with Strokes?
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, and diabetes are the leading causes of stroke. Remarkably, one in three U.S. adults has at least one of these conditions or habits, indicating a broad swath of the population at heightened risk.
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension): This is the leading cause of stroke and the most significant controllable risk factor. Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. When this pressure is consistently too high, it damages the blood vessels, which can lead to a stroke.
- High Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood. High levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol,” can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, narrowing these vessels and making a stroke more likely.
- Smoking: Nicotine in tobacco products raises your blood pressure, while the carbon monoxide in smoke reduces the amount of oxygen your blood can carry. Both these factors increase the risk of stroke. Additionally, smoking accelerates clot formation by thickening your blood and increasing the amount of plaque buildup in the arteries.
- Obesity: Being overweight increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for stroke. Obesity often leads to increased fatty tissue in the body, which results in higher vascular resistance and, in turn, increases the blood pressure.
- Diabetes: Diabetes is a condition in which your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t properly use the insulin it produces. This can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can damage blood vessels over time, making a stroke more likely. Additionally, many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, further increasing their risk.
These conditions or habits are all modifiable, meaning they can be managed or changed through lifestyle adjustments or medication. Therefore, understanding and controlling these risks is a crucial step towards preventing stroke.
Source: American Stroke Association; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
How Common is Having a Second Stroke?
About 185,000 strokes each year—nearly one in four—occur in individuals who have previously experienced a stroke. This statistic underscores the importance of ongoing medical management and lifestyle modifications following a first stroke to reduce the risk of another.
Source: John Hopkins Medicine
Mortality and Disability of Stroke
Stroke is not only a leading cause of death in the United States, but it is also a major cause of serious, long-term disability. Understanding the impacts of stroke on mortality and disability helps us appreciate the scale of its effects on individuals and the healthcare system.
How Many Deaths Are Due to Stroke?
Stroke is a significant cause of death, accounting for 1 in 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease in 2021. This equates to a person in the U.S. dying from a stroke every 3 minutes and 14 seconds. Moreover, the death rate from stroke has seen a recent increase, rising from 38.8 per 100,000 in 2020 to 41.1 per 100,000 in 2021.
Source: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
How Common is Disability After Having a Stroke?
Strokes often result in serious long-term disabilities, impacting patients’ quality of life and posing challenges for their care. More than half of stroke survivors aged 65 and older experience reduced mobility.
The disabilities that occur following a stroke typically depend on the severity of the stroke and which part of the brain was affected. These disabilities can range from moderate to severe and can include:
- Paralysis or loss of muscle movement (Hemiparesis): You might be paralyzed on one side of your body or lose control of certain muscles, such as those on one side of your face or one arm. Physical therapy may help you return to activities hampered by paralysis, such as walking, eating, and dressing.
- Difficulty talking or swallowing (Dysarthria or Dysphagia): A stroke might affect control of the muscles in your mouth and throat, making it difficult for you to talk clearly, swallow, or eat. You also might have difficulty with language (aphasia), including speaking or understanding speech, reading, or writing.
- Memory loss or thinking difficulties: Many people who have had strokes experience some memory loss. Others might have difficulty thinking, reasoning, making judgments, and understanding concepts.
- Emotional problems: People who have had strokes might have more difficulty controlling their emotions, or they might develop depression.
- Pain: Pain, numbness, or other unusual sensations might occur in parts of your body affected by stroke. For example, if a stroke causes you to lose feeling in your left arm, you might develop an uncomfortable tingling sensation in that arm.
- Changes in behavior and self-care ability: People who have had a stroke might have changes in their behavior. They may need help with grooming and daily chores.
As many as two-thirds of individuals surviving a stroke will have some type of disability.
However, with the right care and rehabilitation efforts, including those provided by LightSpring Home Care, stroke survivors can work towards regaining their independence and improving their quality of life. Rehabilitation is a crucial part of recovery and starts in the hospital as soon as possible following a stroke.
Sources: Mayo Clinic; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Cost of Strokes
The financial impact of strokes is substantial and extends far beyond the initial hospitalization. It’s a significant economic burden on the healthcare system and the affected individuals and families.
How Much Are Stroke-Related Costs in the U.S.?
Stroke-related costs came to nearly $56.5 billion between 2018 and 2019, a significant increase from nearly $53 billion between 2017 and 2018.
These costs include not just immediate healthcare services such as hospital stays, emergency department visits, and medications but also longer-term needs like physical therapy, outpatient care, home healthcare, and assisted living facilities.
Furthermore, these costs also take into account the economic toll of missed work days for stroke survivors and their family members who act as caregivers.
Source: National Institutes of Health
LightSpring Home Care Caregivers Can Help You Recover At Home From a Stroke
Helping a loved one navigate the aftermath of a stroke can be a challenging journey, but you don’t have to do it alone. At LightSpring Home Care, our trained professionals offer top-notch, patient-centered care tailored to your unique needs.
Our caregivers understand the physical and emotional toll a stroke can take, and they’re dedicated to helping your loved one recover and thrive in the comfort of their own home.
Whether it’s assisting with mobility, providing companionship, or managing medication, our team is equipped to handle it all, while always keeping you and your loved ones fully informed every step of the way.
We prioritize not just your loved one’s physical well-being, but their overall quality of life.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you or a loved one in their recovery from a stroke.