What the Million Hearts Initiative Means for Stroke

A Presidential Advisory From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Stroke.ahajournals: Ralph L. Sacco, MS, MD, FAAN, FAHA, Chair; Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Co-Chair; Drew E. Blakeman, MS; Edward C. Jauch, MD, MS, FAHA; Stephanie Mohl – February 1, 2012.

Stroke remains a leading cause of disability and death for people of all races and ethnicities. Nearly 800 000 Americans experience a stroke each year—1 every 40 seconds—and ≈135 000 die.1 Approximately 600 000 of these are first or new strokes, and those who survive are at increased risk of a future stroke.1 In 2010, strokes cost the United States an estimated $53.9 billion, including both healthcare costs and productivity losses.2

There are significant racial and ethnic disparities in stroke rates, with blacks having nearly twice the risk of whites of having a first stroke,1 and blacks and Hispanics are more likely to die after a stroke than are whites.1 There are also geographic disparities, with higher stroke incidence in the southeastern United States.3 And although stroke risk increases with age, strokes can occur at any age; about 25% of strokes occur in people who are <65 years of age.3a Read More