Around 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK every year, equivalent to one every five minutes. Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK and the single most common cause of severe disability.
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Some 60,000 people die from stroke in the UK every year. Most people who have strokes are over 65, although around 1000 people under 30 have a stroke each year.
A stroke occurs when an area of the brain is deprived of its blood supply for long enough to cause vital brain tissue to die. There are two types of stroke. The most common type is called ischaemic stroke, which happens when a clot blocks the blood supply to the brain. The second type, called haemorrhagic stroke, is caused by bleeding in the brain.