Stroke: key points
Stroke is a common type of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) that predominantly affects older people.
Risk factors for stroke include: high blood pressure; high blood cholesterol; poor diet; obesity; smoking; physical inactivity; alcohol consumption above recommended limits; diabetes.
Cerebrovascular disease develops as a result of problems with the blood vessels supplying the brain. The incidence rate for cerebrovascular disease decreased over the last decade by 15.6%. Incidence rates were consistently higher in males than females.
Incidence is closely related to age. The standardised rate for under 75s in 2014/15 was 126 per 100,000 and for those aged 75 and over for the same period, it was 1,625.
The age and sex standardised incidence rate for CVD decreased by 15.6% from 309 cases per 100,000 population in 2005/06 to 261 per 100,000 in 2014/15.
Stroke and CVD mortality rates in Scotland have fallen over time. The absolute gap in mortality has narrowed relative to both the UK and to the EU as a whole. For the most recent 2 years available, the Scottish rate has been slightly below the EU rate.
The age-sex standardised mortality rates for CVD have fallen steadily over the last 10 years from 146 per 100,000 in 2005 to 87 in 2014, a reduction of 40.5% in the last 10 years.
Between 2005 and 2014 the reduction in standardised mortality rates for CVD was fairly similar between males (40.8 %) and females (40.2%).
- Please note incidence and mortality rates are standardised using the 2013 European standard population. For more information, see Appendix A1 of ISD's Stroke Statistics Update.
- The last major update of this section was completed in March 2016.
- The next major update is due to be carried out by end of March 2017.