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National Stroke Week

31st August – 6th September 2020

Stroke attacks the brain – the human control centre – changing lives in an instant. Your brain is fed by blood carrying oxygen and nutrients through blood vessels called arteries. A stroke happens when blood cannot get to your brain, because of a blocked or burst artery. As a result, your brain cells die due to a lack of oxygen and nutrients.

Did you know there are currently, around 56,000 Australians that experience a stroke each year; more than 100 every day.

The rates of people dying from stroke have dropped significantly over the last 30 years, however still around 10,600 Australians die from a stroke each year.

There are around 475,000 stroke survivors alive today, and of these, around 50% suffer from a disability affecting their daily life in one way or another.

Some further stroke statistics:

  • Stroke is the third most common cause of death in Australia and a leading cause of disability.
  • About 55,000 Australians have strokes annually, 73% of these being first-ever strokes.

Out of 100 stroke patients in Australia:

  • About 30 will die in the first year after their stroke, most (15-20) within the first 30 days
  • About 70 will survive: of whom
    • 35 remain permanently disabled at 1 year after a stroke, 10 of whom require care in a nursing home or other long-term facility
    • 35 are not disabled to the point of affecting their independence in activities of daily living; 10 will have recovered completely and 25 will not be able to do everything they could previously, but will be able to care for themselves independently.

For a 45-year-old, the risk of having a stroke by age 85 is:

  • One in four for men
  • One in five for women

The risk of having a stroke may increase for:

  • People with a family history of stroke
  • Some ethnic groups (such as African Americans and Hispanics)
  • Those with risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or with an irregular pulse due to atrial fibrillation
  • People who smoke, or consume excessive alcohol, or get insufficient exercise

To assist with preventing a stroke, the Stroke Foundation suggests the following tips:

  • Stay active
  • Eat well
  • Quit smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

Any advice in this publication is of a general nature only and has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal advice prior to acting on this information.

The above information has been sourced from