35 Important Statistics About Brain Aneurysm (2024)

Written by: Aaron Cohen-Gadol, MD

Introduction

1 in 50 people in the United States are affected by brain aneurysms. Caused by the widening of part of an artery due to weakness in the blood vessel wall, this potentially deadly condition is unfortunately more common than one might think.

Luckily, advancements in the medical field are constantly ongoing, helping us understand more about aneurysms and how we can treat them. This article offers an in-depth overview of brain aneurysms, covering basic statistics on occurrence, affected demographics, risks, treatments, and associated costs.

Whether you or a loved one are personally affected, or you are simply interested in the research from a medical perspective, this is a good place to start. Internet searches for brain aneurysms reveal no shortage of information, but it can be difficult to determine which sources have the most accurate information.

Our goal with this article is to promote understanding and awareness about brain aneurysms. We have reviewed current medical scholarship about brain aneurysms and formatted it concisely and clearly to make it approachable for all readers. 

Number of People Affected

1. An estimated 6.7 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm or 1 in 50 people. [bafound.org]

2. The annual rate of rupture is approximately 8 – 10 per 100,000 people. [bafound.org]

3. About 30,000 people in the United States suffer a brain aneurysm rupture each year. A brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes. [bafound.org]

4. There are almost 500,000 deaths worldwide each year caused by brain aneurysms, and half the victims are younger than 50. [bafound.org]

5. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, brain aneurysms affect an estimated 3–5% of people in the United States during their lifetime. They are more common in females than in males and tend to affect adults between the ages of 30 and 60 years. [medicalnewstoday.com]

Population Most Affected

6. Brain aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35 to 60, but can occur in children as well.

7. Most aneurysms develop after the age of 40. [bafound.org]

8. The median age for brain aneurysms to occur is 50.

9. Women are more likely than men to have a brain aneurysm (3:2 ratio). [bafound.org]

10. Women, particularly those over the age of 55, have a higher risk of brain aneurysm rupture than men (about 1.5 times the risk). [bafound.org]

11. Women between the ages of 40 and 60 face a 50% higher risk of developing brain aneurysms than other demographic groups. [lisafoundation.org]

12. African-Americans and Hispanics are about twice as likely to have a brain aneurysm rupture compared to caucasians. [bafound.org]

13. Hispanic-Americans and African Americans are estimated to be 25% more at risk of developing a Brain Aneurysm. [lisafoundation.org]

14. An estimated 40,000 brain aneurysms rupture in the United States each year.

15. Lead researcher, University of South Australia neuroanatomist, Dr Arjun Burlakoti, says imaging tests of 145 patients showed that people with asymmetric brain arteries have a significantly higher chance of developing an aneurysm. [www.unisa.edu.au]

Devastation Caused by Aneurysms

16. Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50% of cases. Of those who survive, about 66% suffer some permanent neurological deficit. [bafound.org]

17. Approximately 15% of people with a ruptured aneurysm die before reaching the hospital. Most of the deaths are due to rapid and massive brain injury from the initial bleeding. [bafound.org]

18. 25% of people who experience brain aneurysm ruptures die within 24 hours. Another 25% die within two to three days, and another 25% die from related complications within six months. [lisafoundation.org

19. According to a 2004 study, in the United States, the combined lost wages of survivors of brain aneurysm rupture and their caretaker for one year were $150 million. [bafound.org]

20. 75% of all brain aneurysm ruptures result in either death or permanent disability. Very few people who experience subarachnoid hemorrhages will regain pre-rupture functions and will likely develop some type of permanent neurological impairment. [lisafoundation.org]

21. Nearly 5% of all emergency room admissions for severe headaches happen due to ruptured aneurysms. [lisafoundation.org]

22. Cerebral aneurysms cause almost 500,000 deaths worldwide each year, half of them occurring in people under the age of 50, with women at greater risk. [www.unisa.edu.au]

23. More than 50 percent of people with aneurysm die due to subarachnoid hemorrhage which is the most dangerous type of stroke and occurs when a brain aneurysm leaks or ruptures, causing bleeding into the brain. [www.unisa.edu.au]

24. Cerebral aneurysms cause almost 500,000 deaths worldwide each year, half of them occurring in people under the age of 50, with women at greater risk. [www.unisa.edu.au]

25. The Brain Aneurysm Foundation state that ruptured brain aneurysms account for just 3–5% of all new stroke cases. If an aneurysm does rupture, it is fatal in about 40% of cases, with 15% of people dying before they reach the hospital. [medicalnewstoday.com]

Diagnosis and Treatment Facts

26. Most aneurysms are small — about 1/8 inch to nearly one inch. [bafound.org]

27. 20% of people diagnosed with a brain aneurysm have more than one aneurysm. [bafound.org]

28. Aneurysms larger than one inch are referred to as “giant” aneurysms. These can pose a particularly high risk and can also be difficult to treat. [bafound.org]

29. Ruptured brain aneurysms account for 3-5% of all new strokes. [bafound.org]

30. Among patients evaluated in an emergency department for headaches, approximately one in 100 has a ruptured aneurysm, according to one study. Another study puts the number at four in 100. [bafound.org]

31. Where the front part of the brain arterial network (the anterior cerebral artery, or A1) differs in left and right diameter ratio by up to 1.4, people have an 80 per cent risk of developing aneurysms in that region, the most common location of ruptured aneurysms. Those with symmetrical ratios below 1.4 have a 7.8 percent equivalent risk. [www.unisa.edu.au]

Misdiagnosis and Associated Costs

32. Despite the widespread availability of brain imaging that can detect a ruptured brain aneurysm, misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis occur in up to one quarter of patients when initially seeking medical attention. In three out of four cases, misdiagnosis results from a failure to do a scan. [bafound.org]

33. The treatment of ruptured brain aneurysms is far more costly than the treatment of unruptured aneurysms: The cost of a brain aneurysm treated by surgical clipping more than doubles after the aneurysm has ruptured. The cost of a brain aneurysm treated by endovascular coiling increases by about 70% after the aneurysm has ruptured. [bafound.org]

34. The federal government spends only $2.08 per year on brain aneurysm research for each person afflicted. [bafound.org]

35. Hospital costs for clipping or coiling treatments can approach $50,000 or more. [lisafoundation.org]

Summary

With over 30 key facts and statistics, this article provides a clear and thorough overview of brain aneurysms. Organized into different categories, you can find answers to all your questions about this neurological pathology from causes and prevention to potential risk factors to surgical treatment options.

Despite the vast amount of information available on the topic of brain aneurysms, there is still much to learn. The medical community is working tirelessly to advance brain aneurysm research through the development of new technologies to help with the treatment of aneurysms, surgically or otherwise.

Clinical trials, new pharmaceutical treatments, and cutting-edge diagnostic tests continue to offer hope for brain aneurysm patients and their families. We recognize that neurological medicine is an ever-changing landscape, which is why we are committed to maintaining this article and updating it annually to always reflect the most up-to-date information available.

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