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Top 10 facts about stroke


There were 27,428 Australians who experienced stroke for the first time in their lives this year, which equates to one stroke every 19 minutes.[1]

One in four people globally will have a stroke in their lifetime.[2]

More than 445,087 Australians are living with the effects of stroke.[3]

Stroke is one of Australia’s biggest killers. It kills more women than breast cancer and more men than prostate cancer.[4]

In 2020, the estimated cost of stroke in Australia was $6.2 billion in direct financial impact, and a further $26.0 billion in mortality and lost wellbeing.[5]

More than 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.[6]

In 2020, 6,535 (24 percent of total) first-ever strokes occurred in people aged 54 years and under.[7]

Regional Australians are 17 percent more likely to suffer a stroke than those in metropolitan areas.[8]

When a stroke strikes, it attacks up to 1.9 million brain cells per minute.[9]

Without action by 2050 it is predicted that the number of first-ever strokes experienced by Australians annually will increase to 50,600, or one stroke every 10 minutes, and there will be 819,900 survivors of stroke living in the community.[10]

[1] Deloitte Access Economics. 2020. No postcode untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020.
[2] 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.
[3] Deloitte Access Economics. 2020. No postcode untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020.
[4] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Australia’s health 2018. Australia’s health series no. 16. AUS 221. Canberra: AIHW.
[5] Deloitte Access Economics. 2020. The economic impact of stroke in Australia, 2020.
[6] O’Donnell M et al. Global and regional effects of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with acute stroke in 32 countries (INTERSTROKE): a casecontrol study. Lancet 2016; 388: 761–775.
[7] Deloitte Access Economics. 2020. No postcode untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Saver JL. Time is brain – quantified. Stroke 2006; 37(1):263-266.
[10] Deloitte Access Economics. 2020. No postcode untouched, Stroke in Australia 2020.



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