Cerebrovascular disease is disease of the arteries leading to and within the brain. This is the cause of strokes (cerebrovascular accidents = CVA). These occur when the blood supply to a part of the brain stops, either because of an obstruction inside an artery, or the rupture of an artery with bleeding into the brain. After a massive stroke, death is usually not immediate, but the person becomes unconscious (coma) and does not recover. In smaller strokes the person may not loose consciousness, but has difficulty moving an arm and/or leg on one side of the body (hemiplegia), difficulty talking (dysphasia) or other signs of brain disfunction. There is usually improvement over a period of months, but often there is not a full recovery.
Factors increasing the risk of cerebrovascular disease are similar those for to Ischaemic heart disease Map 454, but males are only slightly more at risk and strokes affect an older age group, usually over 60 years old.
In 2002 Strokes caused 4.9% of deaths in adults aged 15 to 59 years, 16.2% of deaths in people over 60 years old, 13.3% of all deaths in rich territories, 13.8% of all deaths in poor territories and 5.3% of all deaths in very poor territories.
Global Burden of Disease estimated in 2002 Strokes caused 2.2% of all male years spent living with a disability worldwide. GBD also estimated it to cause 3.3% of all Male, 3.3% of all Female, 6.4% of all Rich territory and 5.0% of all Poor territory burden of disease (Disability Adjusted Lost Years).
Strokes caused 9.6% of all deaths worldwide in 2002, an average of 885 deaths per million people per year.