Stroke is the third leading cause of death in developed countries, ranking behind heart disease and cancer. In the United States, it is the fifth leading cause of death. From 2000 to 2010, the relative rate of stroke death decreased by 35.8% in the United States, and the actual number of US stroke deaths declined by 22.8%; yet the number of strokes occurring annually in the United States remains approximately 795,000, of which 610,000 are first attacks. Each year, approximately 129,000 individuals die in the United States as a result of ischemic stroke. Better control of hypertension, cholesterol levels, and diabetes mellitus, as well as increases in smoking cessation, have contributed to this reduction in stroke mortality rates. The annual incidence of ischemic stroke has increased in Eastern Europe, China, and other nations where improved economic status is accompanied by a widespread adoption of unhealthful lifestyles. Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States today.
There are 2 primary types of stroke: ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. Ischemic stroke accounts for about 87% of cerebrovascular accidents.
For more information on cerebrovascular disease, refer to BCSC Section 5, Neuro-Ophthalmology.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 1 - Update on General Medicine. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.