About this release

This release by Public Health Scotland (PHS) provides an annual update on cerebrovascular disease in Scotland, including stroke, brain haemorrhage and ‘mini-stroke’. This publication includes information on hospital activity, operations, incidence, 30-day survival following first emergency admission, GP prescribing, mortality and ambulance service activity.

Main points

  • The incidence rate for cerebrovascular disease decreased over the last decade by 6%. Incidence rates were consistently 27% higher in males than females.
  • There were 3,874 deaths in Scotland in 2022 where cerebrovascular disease, including stroke, was the underlying cause. In the last decade, the death rate for cerebrovascular disease decreased by 25%.
Image caption Cerebrovascular disease – age and sex adjusted death rates per 100,000 population, Scotland, 2013-2022
  • The death rate for cerebrovascular disease in the most deprived areas was 47% higher than in the least deprived areas in 2022, which is consistent with the previous five years.
  • The percentage of people surviving 30 days or more following their first emergency admission to hospital with a stroke has been consistently between 84% to 86% over the past ten years.
  • Over the last ten years, there was an increase in the adjusted discharge rate for stroke in all deprivation quintiles. The rate in the most deprived quintile increased by 31.5% compared to 21.6% in the least deprived quintile.


Cerebrovascular disease develops as a result of problems with the blood vessels supplying oxygen rich blood to the brain. Scotland has a high prevalence of the risk factors associated with cerebrovascular disease such as smoking and high blood pressure. Despite a substantial decrease in rates of death over the last decade, treating and preventing stroke is a national clinical priority for Scotland as outlined in the Stroke Improvement Plan (external website).

Further information

Public Health Scotland publishes a range of heart disease-related information. You can find all our information on the heart disease and stroke section of the PHS website. Further information can be found in the Stroke Statistics report.

More information is also available from the Scottish Stroke Care Audit Report.

The next release of this publication will be in January 2025.

General enquiries

If you have an enquiry relating to this publication, please contact John Connor at phs.hdstroke@phs.scot.

Media enquiries

If you have a media enquiry relating to this publication, please contact the Communications and Engagement team.

Requesting other formats and reporting issues

If you require publications or documents in other formats, please email phs.otherformats@phs.scot.

To report any issues with a publication, please email phs.generalpublications@phs.scot.

Older versions of this publication

Versions of this publication released before 16 March 2020 may be found on the Data and Intelligence, Health Protection Scotland or Improving Health websites.

Last updated: 21 March 2024
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