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Facts and figures

More than 56,000 strokes will be experienced by Australians this year – that is one stroke every nine minutes. (Please note this is new and recurrent strokes – a person may have more than one)

Source: Deloitte Access Economics – Stroke in Australia – No postcode untouched, 2017.

One in four people globally will have a stroke in their lifetime.

Source: GBD 2016 Lifetime Risk of Stroke Collaborators, Feigin VL et al. Global, Regional, and Country-Specific Lifetime Risks of Stroke, 1990 and 2016. N Engl J Med. 2018; 379(25):2429-2437.

More than 475,000 Australians are living with the effects of stroke. This is predicted to increase to one million by 2050.

Source: Deloitte Access Economics – Stroke in Australia – No postcode untouched, 2017.

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers. It kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Australia’s health 2018. Australia’s health series no. 16. AUS 221. Canberra: AIHW.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability in Australia.

Source: Ibid

Between 1980 and 2016, overall death rates for stroke in Australia fell by three-quarters.

Source: Ibid

More than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.

Source: 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, doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30506-2

Research has shown eliminating high blood pressure in patients could reduce stroke incidence by an estimated 48 percent.

Source: Ibid

Four in 10 stroke survivors will go on to experience recurrent stroke within a decade.

Source: Hardie K et al. Ten-year risk of first recurrent stroke and disability after first-ever stroke in the Perth Community Stroke Study. Stroke 2004; 35(3): 731-5.

Around 25 percent of stroke survivors are of working age.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Cardiovascular disease in women. Cat. no. CDK 15. Canberra: AIHW.

Regional Australians are 19 percent more likely to experience a stroke. Regional Australians are also more likely to die or be left with serious disability because of stroke.

Source: Deloitte Access Economics – Stroke in Australia – No postcode untouched, 2017.

When a stroke strikes, it attacks up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute.

Source: Saver JL. Time is brain – quantified. Stroke 2006; 37(1): 263-6.


The FAST test is an easy way to recognise and remember the signs of stroke.

Using the FAST test involves asking these simple questions:

  1. Face – Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  2. Arms – Can they lift both arms?
  3. Speech – Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  4. Time – Time is critical. If you see any of these signs, call 000 straight away.

Fast poster with signs of stroke