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Cerebrovascular diseases (CVBD)

Cerebrovascular disease (CBVD) is the death of brain tissue that occurs when the brain does not receive enough blood flow and oxygen.  It is the third largest killer and a major cause of hospital admission in Herefordshire.  here are a number of different types of cerebrovascular disease. The four most common types are:

  • stroke – a serious medical condition where one part of the brain is damaged by a lack of blood supply or bleeding into the brain from a burst blood vessel
  • transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – a temporary fall in the blood supply to one part of the brain, resulting in brief symptoms similar to stroke
  • subarachnoid haemorrhage – a type of stroke where blood leaks out of the brain's blood vessels on to the surface of the brain
  • vascular dementia – persistent impairment in mental ability resulting from stroke or other problems with blood circulation to the brain[1]

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the single biggest risk factor for stroke, and it also plays a significant role in heart attacks. Risk factors for hypertension include being overweight or obese, lack of physical activity, and being diabetic. 

In 2016/17 hypertension prevalence in Herefordshire was 16.1 per cent compared to 13.8 per cent across England as a whole, while prevalence in Herefordshire GP practices ranged between 13.7 and 18.7 per cent.

There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year and there are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK.[2]

In Herefordshire, stroke accounts for around two of every five CVD-related deaths in Herefordshire.

Since 2009/10 the stroke prevalence in Herefordshire has not changed appreciably, ranging between 2.2 and 2.3 per cent, although the local figure has been consistently higher than that reported for England as a whole. In 2016/17, stroke prevalence in Herefordshire GP practices ranged between 1.5 and 3.2 per cent.

In the Herefordshire CCG area, the rate of hospital admissions (all ages) with a primary diagnosis of stroke recorded on admission to hospital has been rising since 2012-13, contrary to the trend nationally.  In 2016/17 the rate was 179.2 per 100,000 not significantly different to nationally.

Those living in the most deprived areas of Herefordshire are over 71 per cent as likely to die prematurely (under 75 years of age) of cerebrovascular disease.


[1] Cerebrovascular disease,  NHS Direct Wales. Available at:

[2] State of the nation:  stroke statistics January 2017, Stroke Association, 2017.  Available at


Cerebrovascular disease data resources

  • Cardiovascular disease in Herefordshire (July 2011)Cardiovascular disease in Herefordshire (July 2011)
  • A report from the Public Health Department about the prevalence of CVD in Herefordshire; hospital admissions; mortality. Including analysis of years of life lost and inequality within the county.
  • 284 Kb

Last updated: Thursday, July 19, 2018