There is no exact answer as to how many strokes someone can have and survive. However, the more strokes a person has, the higher the risk of damage to the brain. Brain damage affects someone’s chances of survival.

However, many other factors can also influence a person’s chances of surviving a stroke, including how soon they receive treatment.

Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, but it is not always fatal. Around 795,000 people in the U.S. have a stroke each year.

In 610,000 of these cases, it is a person’s first stroke, while the remaining 185,000 have had a previous stroke. Of these total stroke cases, 137,000 people die each year.

Read on to learn more about stroke and survival rates.

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There is no defined limit to the number of strokes a person can have without dying. However, each stroke injures the brain, which can cause lasting damage.

Brain cells need a constant supply of blood and oxygen to stay alive. Therefore, when something causes a blockage, the cells begin to die within minutes. This may result in disability, depending on the part of the brain it affects.

If the brain tissue cannot get enough blood and oxygen for too long, a person can die. The more strokes someone has, the greater the risk for this to occur. However, with early treatment, the chances of survival improve.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that people who get to the hospital within 3 hours of the first symptoms of stroke often experience less disability after 3 months than those who receive delayed medical attention.

Having multiple strokes appears to elevate a person’s risk of having another stroke. It also reduces their likelihood of survival.

A 2022 study analyzed data from 313,162 people in Australia and New Zealand. The participants had an average age of 73 years. The researchers found the following survival rates after an initial stroke:

Time after initial strokeChance of survivalChance of having another stroke
3 months79.4%7.8%
1 year73%11%
5 years52.8%19.8%
10 years36.4%26.8%

The risks of having another stroke are different for people who have had a ministroke, or transient ischemic attack (TIA).

A 2016 study found the following rates of stroke in people who had recently had a TIA:

  • 1.5% within 2 days
  • 2.1% within 7 days
  • 2.8% within 30 days
  • 5.1% within 1 year

Overall, around one in four stroke survivors will go on to have another stroke.

There are two broad types of stroke, and they each carry a different level of risk.

A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood leaks from an artery in the brain. In contrast, ischemic strokes occur when blood clots or other particles block a blood vessel, depriving part of the brain of oxygen.

The 2022 study found that having a hemorrhagic stroke carried a greater risk of death and having another stroke than having an ischemic stroke.

Additionally, a 2018 study found that, 5 years after having a stroke, 70.6% of people who had had an ischemic stroke had died or become completely dependent on caregivers. In the case of intracerebral hemorrhage, this figure increased to 79%.

The CDC says that a person’s risk of having a stroke doubles every 10 years from the age of 55. That said, one in seven strokes occur in people aged 15–49 years.

The 2022 study also found that people aged at least 85 years were over seven times more likely to die from a stroke than those aged 18–54 years.

However, one 2019 study from the Netherlands involved 18–49-year-olds who had had their first stroke. Their risk of survival compared with the general population stayed low for up to 15 years after the stroke.

The U.S. has significant health disparities between racial and ethnic groups, including healthcare for stroke. Even though many strokes are preventable, the following groups have higher mortality rates than white people:

  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • Native American
  • Native Alaskan
  • Hawaiian Natives
  • Pacific Islander

Several factors contribute to this, but unequal healthcare is a key cause. This includes:

  • difficulty accessing healthcare
  • receiving lower-quality healthcare
  • lower levels of health insurance coverage

Learn more about racism and healthcare.

Several factors can increase a person’s risk of dying from stroke or having another stroke.

The CDC says that more females than males experience stroke and that females of all ages are more likely to die from stroke than males. Pregnancy and hormonal birth control can influence the risk.

A person is also more likely to die from stroke or have another stroke if they have certain health conditions. These include:

A 2022 study analyzed stroke data from Denmark. The researchers found that 13.7% of people with atrial fibrillation had very severe strokes in comparison with only 7.9% of people without atrial fibrillation.

There is no safe number of strokes a person can have, and no set limit on how many someone can have before a stroke is fatal. The more strokes an individual has, the higher the likelihood of lasting damage or death.

One in four people who have had a stroke will have another. However, many factors influence the risk, and 80% of strokes could be preventable. If a person has concerns about having multiple strokes, they can speak with a doctor about what they can do to lower the risk.