Cerebrovascular disease refers to conditions caused by problems with the blood vessels supplying the brain with blood, including stroke. A stroke occurs when blood vessels carrying oxygen to the brain become blocked or burst, thereby cutting off the brain’s supply of oxygen and other nutrients. Lack of oxygen causes brain cells to die, which can lead to brain damage and death or disability. Cerebrovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Although cerebrovascular disease is more common in older adults, it can occur at any age. The most important modifiable risk factor for stroke and cerebrovascular disease is high blood pressure. Other risk factors include high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, physical inactivity, obesity, excessive alcohol use, and tobacco use.
*This indicator shows the age-adjusted death rate per 100,000 population due to cerebrovascular disease and stroke.