Stroke in America
Deaths caused by strokes
130,000 per year
A stroke happens every
80% of all strokes
Time to receive effective treatment
3 hrs only
Ways to Reduce Stroke Risk
Get enough sleep. About 7 to 8 hours a day for average adults.
Be socially active. Studies have shown people with strong social support are at lower risk for stroke and heart disease.
Eat better. Go easy on salt and processed foods high in sodium.
Be physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of vigorous activity a day. Reducing excess weight will also reduce your risk.
REGULAR CHECK UPS
Get regular checkups. Know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels-and talk to your doctor about managing them.
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are at risk for having a stroke
Women Vs. Men
more than men per year
Cause of Death
as leading cause of death for women, opposed to No. 5 leading cause for men.
Stroke of Luck
Recognizing when someone else is having a stroke is the first step to saving a life. Meet one of our hometown heroes.Read Article
Know the Warning Signs and Act F.A.S.T.
Does the face look uneven? Ask the person to smile.
Does one arm drift down? Ask the person to raise both arms.
Does their speech sound strange? Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase; for example, "The sky is blue."
If you observe any of these signs, act FAST. Call 9-1-1.
Effective Stroke Treatments
The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptoms. For more information, read our frequently asked questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a stroke?
The human brain requires a constant supply of oxygenated blood. Simply put, a stroke occurs when that blood flow is cut off. Brain cells deprived of oxygen begin to die, affecting functions such as memory and muscle control.
What causes a stroke?
Most strokes-about 87%-are caused when a blood vessel is blocked by a clot. (This is called an ischemic stroke.) A stroke can also be caused when a blood vessel ruptures. Blood spills in and causes swelling and pressure that damage brain tissue. (This is called a hemorrhagic stroke.)
How serious is stroke?
Stroke is fatal in about 10 to 20 percent of cases. Some people recover completely from a stroke, but more than 2/3 of survivors will experience some kind of permanent disability.
How common is stroke?
Every year, more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke. About one of four are in people who have had a previous stroke. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the leading cause of adult disability.
What are the signs of a stroke?
There are many different symptoms. A stroke victim may experience one or more of the following:
- Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion or 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
What should I do if I (or someone I'm with) thinks they could be having a stroke?
Do NOT "wait and see." Getting treatment fast is critical and can mean the difference between recovery and lifelong disability or death.
If you think someone may be having a stroke, "act F.A.S.T." and do the following simple test:
- F—Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- A—Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- S—Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
- T—Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. If in doubt, call 9-1-1 just in case.
The most effective stroke treatments are only available if the stroke is recognized and diagnosed within three hours of the first symptoms.
Who is at risk for stroke?
There are many risk factors. Below are some of the most critical ones. You can't control all of them, but many are manageable.
Age — The chance of having a stroke approximately doubles for each decade of life after age 55, though it can strike anyone at any time.
Family history — If a parent, grandparent, or sibling has had a stroke, your risk increases.
Gender — Women have more strokes than men, but this is mainly because women tend to live longer, which means they spend more time in greater risk. The incidence of stroke is higher in men at younger ages.
High blood pressure — This is the leading cause of stroke. It can be managed through diet, exercise, and medication.
Cigarette smoking — Nicotine and carbon monoxide damage the cardiovascular system. Smokers who use oral contraceptives are at even greater risk.
Diabetes, high cholesterol, inactivity and obesity — Each of these items alone are risk factors for stroke. Statistically speaking, a person with one of these risks is likely to have others also in the list, which compounds the overall risk.