A stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, is a type of brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to a part of the brain resulting in tissue death. Strokes can be caused by a ruptured blood vessel (hemorrhagic) or by a clot that blocks blood flow (ischemic).
According to the American Stroke Association, in the United States there are:
- 7 million stroke survivors.
- 795,000 strokes each year.
- 425,000 women who suffer from stroke each year, 55,000 more than men.
- 137,000 people who die from strokes each year, making stroke the third leading cause of death.
The primary stroke symptoms include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the face or facial drooping
- Sudden numbness or weakness in an arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Smoking, being overweight, and drinking too much alcohol are all controllable risk factors. You can control these risk factors by quitting smoking, exercising regularly, watching what and how much you eat, and limiting alcohol consumption. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are also risk factors that can be controlled through diet, exercise, and medication.
Uncontrollable risk factors include age, race, family history, and previous strokes.
Spread the Word
Stroke Awareness has created a variety of materials to help spread awareness about stroke and stroke symptoms. You can download the materials, including these Act FAST posters, at www.strokeawareness.com.