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A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing brain tissue to die.

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing brain tissue to die.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of adult disability.1,2 About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.2 One American dies from a stroke every 4 minutes, on average.2 Get more quick facts about stroke.

Stroke is a medical emergency. Know the signs and symptoms of stroke, and call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone might be having a stroke. Getting fast treatment is important to preventing death and disability from stroke.

You may be able to prevent stroke or reduce your risk through healthy lifestyle changes. In addition, medication can reduce stroke risk for some people.

Featured Items

World Stroke Day 2014October 29 is World Stroke Day
This annual observance promotes the stroke warning signs and importance of taking FAST action if you think you or someone you know might be having a stroke. This year's event focuses on the special challenges of stroke in women and how women can protect their health. Find out more about World Stroke Day in CDC's MMWR and "Our Global Voices" blog series.

Young womanStrokes, Long on the Decline among the Elderly, are Rising among Younger Adults
Stroke is a major cause of morbidity and years of productive life lost, especially when it occurs in younger persons. Stroke in children and young adults accounts for 5 to 10% of all strokes and is among the top 10 causes of childhood death. CDC's report on stroke was recently cited in a Washington Post article that explores the rise of strokes among young adults.

CDC PodcastsA Cup of Health with CDC: Preventing Strokes
Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and they don't just occur in older adults. Anyone can have a stroke at any age. In this CDC podcast, Dr. Mary George, discusses ways to decrease your chances of having a stroke.

Vital Signs: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke Vital Signs: Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke
Nearly 1 of 3 deaths in the US each year is caused by heart disease and stroke. At least 200,000 of these deaths could have been prevented through changes in health habits, such as no smoking, more physical activity, and less salt in the diet. Community changes to create healthier living spaces, such as safe places to exercise, smoke-free areas, managing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can also help prevent heart disease and strokes.

High Blood Pressure Education Month When it Comes to Blood Pressure, Make Control Your Goal
May is High Blood Pressure Education Month. Have you talked about a goal for your blood pressure with your health care provider? If not, do it at your next visit. One of three American adults has high blood pressure, also called hypertension. Learn how to make control your goal.

Strategies from the Field Cover Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program: Strategies from the Field
States that have a stroke registry supported through the Coverdell program have identified unique ways to meet program goals and objectives. Any state interested in creating or maintaining a stroke registry can learn from the successful strategies and lessons learned described in this report.

Salty french fries. Most Americans Should Consume Less Sodium
Most of the sodium we eat is in the form of salt. Too much sodium is bad for your health. It can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth causes of death in the United States.


  1. Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Arias E. Mortality in the United States, 2013. NCHS Data Brief, No. 178. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept. of Health and Human Services; 2014.
  2. Mozzafarian D, Benjamin EJ, Go AS, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2015:e29–322.