The lifetime risk of stroke: Estimates from the framingham study

Sudha Seshadri, Alexa Beiser, Margaret Kelly-Hayes, Carlos S. Kase, Rhoda Au, William B. Kannel, Philip A. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

540 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose - The lifetime risk (LTR) of stroke has not been reported for the United States population; such data would assist public education and health planning. Methods - Framingham Original cohort participants (n=4897) who were stroke- and dementia-free at 55 years of age were followed biennially for up to 51 years (115 146 person years). We estimated the sex-specific 10-, 20-, and 30-year risks and LTR of developing a stroke by baseline age and blood pressure (BP) and compared it with the risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD). Results - A total of 875 participants (522 women) developed a first-ever stroke; 749 (448 women) had an ischemic stroke. LTR of stroke was high and remained similar at ages 55, 65, and 75 years, approximating 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 6 for men. Participants with a normal BP (<120/80 mm Hg) had approximately half the LTR of stroke compared with those with high BP (≥140/90 mm Hg). The LTR of AD at age 65 (292 participants; 211 women) approximated 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 10 for men. The LTR of developing either stroke or dementia approximated 1 in 3 in both sexes. Conclusion - The LTR of stroke in middle-aged adults is 1 in 6 or more, which is equal to or greater than the LTR of AD. Women had a higher risk because of longer life expectancy. BP is a significant determinant of the LTR of stroke, and promotion of normal BP levels in the community might be expected to substantially reduce this risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-350
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Blood pressure
  • Epidemiology
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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