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June 21, 2019

I’d like to talk next about the epidemiology of stroke. If we look at the nation as a whole, we see close to 800 to 900,000 strokes per year. Fortunately what we’re seeing though, because of our great efforts and the public’s great sort of response is that the incidence of death related to stroke, the number of strokes causing people to die is decreasing. It used to be, approximately four years ago, the struggles, the third leading cause of death. And then it became the fourth leading cause of death. And now it’s the fifth leading cause of death. And so we’re doing a better job of treating strokes, keeping people alive. And one of the things we have to keep in mind is that despite this decrease in the number of deaths, people are still having strokes and it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. And I think we all sort of have the notion that there are fates potentially even worse than death, where you’re left with such disabling problems that life can be very, very difficult. If we look at the stroke types that we have, it’s interesting to see what percentage of each stroke really occur. So with ischemic strokes, we’re looking at about 88% of all strokes are ischemic strokes. So the vast majority of strokes are ischemic strokes, where a blood clot travels up into the brain, blocks an artery, the brain stops working and injury occurs about 9% of all strokes are related to interest, cerebral hemorrhage. So again, that’s where the blood vessel ruptures inside the brain and blood causes injury and presses the brain aside. And then the least common, which is subarachnoid hemorrhage, is about 3%. And the subarachnoid hemorrhage is where an aneurysm, this little bubble, like outpouching ruptures causing sudden onset headache, neck stiffness, and often prolonged hospitalization.

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