Care Ministry: Stroke – A Senior’s Nightmare

Abstracted by Sheila Kun RN, BA, BSN, MS.

Aging is a diagnosis with 100% mortality. We seniors know it too well. As we grow older, we have fewer birthday or wedding parties. On the contrary, we attend more funeral services than we want to. Recently I have heard more friends and acquaintances coming down with strokes. Hence, I decided to spend the next few weeks understanding this dreadful disease so that I can lend better support to those affected. The information on the incidents of stroke is from the CDC’s official website.

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Stroke statistics

  • In 2020, 1 in 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease was due to stroke.
  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Every 3.5 minutes, someone dies of stroke.
  • Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.
  • About 185,000 strokes—nearly 1 in 4—are in people who have had a previous stroke.
  • About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.
  • Stroke-related costs in the United States came to nearly $53 billion between 2017 and 2018. This total includes the cost of healthcare services, medicines to treat stroke, and missed days of work.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and older.

Stroke statistics by race and ethnicity

  • Stroke is a leading cause of death for Americans, but the risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity.
  • Risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for Blacks as for Whites, and Blacks have the highest rate of death due to stroke.
  • Though stroke death rates have declined for decades among all race/ethnicities, Hispanics have seen an increase in death rates since 2013.

Stroke risk varies by age

  • Stroke risk increases with age, but strokes can—and do—occur at any age.
  • In 2014, 38% of people hospitalized for stroke were less than 65 years old.

Next week we will learn more about the symptoms and presentations of stroke.

Your home work for this week from the Care Ministry: heighten your awareness of this condition.

Love to hear from you: