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Cerebrovascular disease in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Cerebrovascular disease refers to conditions which affect the blood vessels and flow of blood in the brain. Restricted blood flow caused by cerebrovascular disease can lead to temporary or permanent damage, with common symptoms including speech difficulty, nausea and vomiting, severe headache, confusion, numbness, dizziness, and vision problems. The most common condition associated with cerebrovascular disease is a stroke, but other conditions include aneurysms, vascular dementia, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. In 2020, stroke was the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, causing 36.4 deaths per 100,000 population.

Deaths from cerebrovascular disease

Although cerebrovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States, death rates from such conditions have decreased significantly for both men and women since the 1950s. Perhaps unsurprisingly, older adults are much more likely to die from cerebrovascular disease than younger or middle aged adults. In 2019 the death rate from cerebrovascular disease was 977 per 100,000 population among those aged 85 years and older and just 31 per 100,000 among those aged 55 to 64 years. Similarly, there are also large variations in stroke death rates among U.S. states. Many of the states with the highest death rates due to stroke are found in the South, giving rise to this region being called the stroke belt. In the period 2017 to 2019, Mississippi had the highest death rate from stroke of any U.S. state, followed by Alabama and Louisiana.

Stroke risk factors and prevention

Some stroke risk factors such as age and family history cannot be controlled, but there are many other lifestyle factors that can increase one's risk of stroke. Such lifestyle risk factors include smoking cigarettes, high blood pressure, diabetes, heavy drinking, high cholesterol, a lack of exercise, and obesity. For example, those who smoke cigarettes are estimated to be up to four times more likely to experience a stroke than those who do not smoke. Being obese increases one's risk of many health complications, not only cerebrovascular disease, and the rising number of obese people in the United States has made overweight and obesity one of the biggest health issues in the U.S. today. In 2017-2018, around 43 percent of those aged 60 years and older were considered obese.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 19 most important statistics relating to "Cerebrovascular disease in the U.S.".

Statistics on the topic


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