Stroke Death Declines Stall in the Southeast

Since at least the 1960s, the rate of Americans who die from stroke has been on the decline. But that progress has slowed, and in some cases reversed, according to a new federal report.

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Report Overview

The report, issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that the rate of stroke deaths among U.S. adults fell 38 percent between 2000 and 2015. But that pace has slowed or even reversed in 38 states in recent years. Florida saw the biggest reversal, with stroke death rates increasing nearly 11 percent each year from 2013 to 2015. Like Florida, other states in the southeast - Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana - also saw an increase in their stroke death rates. 

While the report did not identify the reasons for the slowdown, other studies have pointed to increased numbers of Americans with stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

AHA Policy Efforts to Reduce Stroke

One way the American Heart Association works to prevent and treat stroke is through public policy change. Here in the southeast, some of our policy campaigns include to: 

  • Develop a stroke registry in Alabama to track the response and outcome of each stroke incident in order to discover and implement future improvements in the systems of care;
  • Raise the minimum sale age to 21 for tobacco products to encourage younger people to not start smoking;
  • Create smoke-free communities in Georgia and Louisiana, so workers and patrons are not exposed to secondhand smoke;
  • Ensure healthy vending options in Mississippi government buildings; and
  • Provide Tennessee's elementary students with physical education classes.

Stay tuned for future You're the Cure alerts for how you can help fight stroke in your state! Not a member of You're the Cure? Sign up today at

CDC map showing stroke death declines have stalled in three out of every four states 

(Image courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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