The 2002 World Report on Violence and Health published by the WHO (Geneva)4 lists ischemic heart disease as the top cause of death among its member states, accounting for 12.4% of all deaths in 2000.45 Cerebrovascular disease, or stroke, accounted for 9.2% of deaths.4 In Canada, cardiovascular disease accounted for 74,626 Canadian deaths (32% of all male deaths and 34% of all female deaths) in 2002.23
In the U.S.119 and Canada,23 stroke is the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer, accounting for close to 7% of all deaths. Each year approximately 500,000 Americans suffer a first stroke and another 200,000 experience a recurrent attack.1 Demographically, more women than men have a stroke; increasing age and race (African Americans) increases the chance of suffering a stroke. Of the two types of stroke, 8 to 12% of ischemic strokes and 37 to 38% of hemorrhagic strokes result in death within 30 days, while one quarter of all stroke victims die within a year. Of the survivors, 14% will have another stroke (or TIA) within a year.1
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