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Stroke

What you should know about stroke.
  • Stroke does not discriminate. Everyone is at risk.
  • 600,000 Americans will have a new or recurrent stroke this year...160,000 will die.
  • 28% of strokes occur in people under the age of 65.
  • Stroke is the No. 3 cause of death among Americans
  • Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability.

What is a stroke?

Stroke is a form of cardiovascular disease that affects the arteries of the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain can't get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.

Clots that block an artery cause ischemic (is-KEM-IK) strokes, which account for about 70-80% of all strokes.

Ruptured blood vessels cause hemorrhagic (hem-O-REG-IK) strokes.

When part of the brain dies from lack of blood flow, the part of the body it controls is affected. Strokes can cause paralysis, affect language and vision, and cause other problems.

Medical Risk Factors
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heart Disease
  • TIAs (transient ischemic attack in which a blood clot temporarily clogs an artery)
Lifestyle Risk Factors
  • Tobacco use
  • Physical Inactivity and obesity
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Illegal drug use
Risk Factors of Life
  • Increasing age
  • Male sex
  • Heredity and race
  • Prior stroke
Stroke Warning Signs
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

Don't ignore the warning signs of stroke, even if they go away! Knowing these warning signs may help you save your life or the life of someone you love.

What can you to prevent a stroke?
  • Schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if you're at risk for stroke. Know your risk factors.
  • Take recommended steps to control your risk factors (e.g. diet, exercise).
REMEMBER!
  • Know the warning signs!
  • Stroke is a medical emergency!
  • Respond quickly and call 9-1-1!

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