The death rate from strokes in the U.S. sharply declined over the past half century, but it has now leveled off, according to a 2017 report from the CDC. Deaths dropped from 316 per 100,000 adults (over age 35) in 1968 to 120 in 2000 and just 70 in 2013, then up slightly to 73 in 2015.
The long-term decline is attributed to improvements in risk factors such as hypertension and high cholesterol, along with better medical treatment when strokes do occur. Nevertheless, nearly 800,000 Americans still have a stroke each year and 140,000 of them die from it.
The recent uptick in stroke deaths has occurred particularly in Southern states and among Hispanics, possibly due to poorer control of some risk factors, notably obesity.
Had the rate of decline in stroke mortality continued between 2013 and 2015, about 32,500 deaths might not have occurred, the researchers estimated.
Also see "Geographic Inequality" in Heart Disease.