Facts and figures about stroke

  1. Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers and a leading cause of disability.[1]
  2. Stroke kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer.[1]
  3. In 2017 there were more than 56,000 new and recurrent strokes – that is one stroke every nine minutes.[2]
  4. More than 80% of strokes can be prevented.[3]
  5. In 2017 there will be more than 475,000 people living with the effects of stroke. This is predicted to increase to one million by 2050.[2]
  6. Around 30% of stroke survivors are of working age (under the age of 65).[4]
  7. 65% of stroke survivors suffer a disability which impedes their ability to carry out daily living activities unassisted.[4]
  8. The financial cost of stroke in Australia is estimated to be $5 billion each year.[4]
  9. In 2015, funding for stroke research through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) represented just 4.1 percent of the total investment in medical research.[5]
  10. The FAST test is an easy way to recognise and remember the signs of stroke. Using the FAST test involves asking these simple questions:
      Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
      Arms – Can they lift both arms?
      Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
      Time – Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Australia’s Health 2018

[2] Deloitte Access Economics. No postcode untouched – Stroke in Australia 2017

[3] O’Donnell et al. "Global and regional effects of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with acute stroke in 32 countries (INTERSTROKE): a case-control study", Lancet 2016; 388: 761–75. Published Online July 15, 2016,

[4] Deloitte Access Economics. The economic impact of stroke in Australia, 2013

[5] National Health and Medical Research Council. Research funding statistics and data. Stroke statistics provided by NHMRC