Stroke is now the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, down from the third place ranking it has held for decades, according to preliminary 2008 death statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, Atlanta.

There were 133,750 deaths from stroke in 2008. Age-adjusted death rates from stroke declined 3.8% between 2007 and 2008.

The data are based on 99% of death certificates reported to NCHS through the National Vital Statistics System from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories.

The age-adjusted death rate for the US population fell to 758.7 deaths per 100,000 in 2008 compared to the 2007 rate of 760.2.

The full report is available at

[Source: CDC]