REGIONAL areas of Queensland and New South Wales have some of the highest numbers of stroke victims in the nation, a new report has found.
The report, from the National Stroke Foundation, found several regional federal electorates in both states were among the top 10 for stroke survivors and for the number of people with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Among the highest risk areas were Hinkler and Wide Bay in Queensland and Richmond, Cowper, Lyne and Page in NSW - areas where the number of residents who survived a stroke in 2012 were also high.
The report identified regions of the country where strokes are already a major problem, as well as those areas where the risk factors indicate it will be a problem in coming years.
Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash said the good news was that the rate of stroke deaths for every 100,000 Australians was falling.
"However, stroke still kills thousands of people each year and cerebrovascular disease, most notably stroke, is the second most common underlying cause of death for Australians," she said.
"Many people who survive stroke will be left with a disability, which places a significant burden on individuals as well as their carers, loved ones and the health system."
The report found some 20% of residents in Cowper, Page, Richmond and Wide Bay had high blood pressure, dominating the "top 10" list for that risk factor.
It also found 28% of residents living in Richmond, Wide Bay and Cowper also had the second big risk factor, high cholesterol.