© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Stroke, or cerebrovascular accident, is an acute disease of blood vessels of the brain. The most common form, ischemic stroke, results in death of brain tissue from lack of oxygen and nutrients when a blood vessel is blocked by a disease process including clot, or arteriosclerosis. Less common is death of brain tissue due to bleeding from a ruptured vessel, hemorrhagic stroke. In 2007, the third leading cause of death in the United States (US) was stroke, following diseases of the heart and cancer. Stroke is also a leading cause of disability. This article examines the epidemiology of stroke in the US with emphasis on persons 65 years of age and older, and blacks.