Cdc.gov: May 25, 2012 / 61(20);379-382.
In 2008, mortality from stroke was the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and stroke was a leading cause of long-term severe disability (1). Nearly half of older stroke survivors experience moderate to severe disability (2). Care for stroke survivors cost an estimated $18.8 billion in the United States during 2008, and lost productivity and premature mortality cost an additional $15.5 billion (3). A 3.6% decline in stroke mortality during 2007–2008 (1,4) means that the prevalence of stroke (defined in this report as the percentage of noninstitutionalized persons who have ever experienced stroke) will increase if stroke incidence and the mean length of post-stroke survival does not decrease and the proportion of institutionalized stroke survivors does not change. Measuring the prevalence of stroke at the state level enables CDC and state health officials to target resources to populations or regions with high prevalence. A previous report of state-level stroke prevalence used 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data (5). To measure recent trends in stroke prevalence by sociodemographic characteristics and state of residence, CDC analyzed 2006–2010 data from BRFSS. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that during this period, overall self-reported stroke prevalence did not change. However, consistent with findings in the previous report, there were disparities in stroke prevalence identified by age, race/ethnicity, and level of education (4). Specifically, older adults, blacks, American Indians/Alaska Natives, persons with lower levels of education, and persons living in the southeastern United States had higher stroke prevalence. Read more