Department of Health

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain either becomes blocked - known as an ischaemic stroke - or ruptures and begins to bleed- known as a haemorrhagic stroke - (Stroke Foundation 2018).

Either may result in part of the brain dying, leading to sudden impairment that can affect a number of bodily functions.

Stroke often causes paralysis of parts of the body normally controlled by the area of the brain affected by the stroke. It can also cause speech problems and other symptoms, such as difficulties with swallowing, vision and thinking (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018).

In 2017, stroke was the third leading cause of death in Victoria and responsible for more than six per cent of all deaths in the state, with females more likely to die from stroke than males (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018).

The prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed stroke in Victorians was 2.7 per cent in 2016 (Department of Health and Human Services 2018).

This data source also identified that the prevalence of stroke decreased significantly with increasing total annual household income for females. No significant trend was observed, however, for males.

Find out more

The Victorian Population Health Survey 2016 has a section on stroke.

The Stroke FoundationExternal Link has information on stroke and its prevention.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018 Causes of Death, Victoria, 2017 ABS Canberra.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018 Australia's health 2018 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra.

Department of Health and Human Services 2018, Victorian Population Health Survey 2016, State Government of Victoria, Melbourne

Stroke Foundation 2018, What is a stroke?, Stroke Foundation, Melbourne.

Reviewed 10 March 2023

Your health: Report of the Chief Health Officer, Victoria, 2018

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