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. There 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
- 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% compared to 13.8% across England as a whole, while prevalence in Herefordshire GP practices ranged between 13.7% and 18.7%.
There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year and there are over 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK. In Herefordshire, stroke accounts for around two of every five CVD-related deaths.
Since 2009/10 the stroke prevalence in Herefordshire has not changed appreciably, ranging between 2.2% and 2.3%, 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%.
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% as likely to die prematurely (under 75 years of age) of cerebrovascular disease.
 State of the nation: stroke statistics January 2018, Stroke Association, 2018.