What Is the Life Expectancy After a Stroke?

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More than 75 percent of patients survive after the first year after a stroke, with more than 50 percent surviving after 5 years, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The chances of survival depend on the type of stroke and age of the patient.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In most cases, patients who have suffered a stroke experience permanent physical weakness and may be left impaired. The severity and outcome of a stroke influence the level of impairment, which may affect the patient’s ability to walk, drive or feed oneself.

Patients with ischemic strokes have a better chance of survival than those with hemorrhagic strokes, states The University of Maryland Medical Center. This is because hemorrhagic strokes tend to increase the pressure in the brain and destroy brain cells, which can be life-threatening. Doctors generally use the stroke scale provided by the National Institutes of Health to determine the outlook after a stroke. The stroke scale scores 11 factors to determine the outcome and severity of a stroke, including facial movement, levels of consciousness, visual fields, sensory loss, problems with language and more.