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Facts About Stroke

Stroke is the No. 1 cause of disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Stroke Association, 600,000 people suffer new or recurrent strokes annually and stroke kills nearly 160,000 Americans each year.

Here are the symptoms of stroke: These could be symptoms of something else, but if you have them, don't take any chances, no matter how old you are. Call 911 and get yourself to a hospital.

   Sudden numbness or weakness of 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


The following factors may increase your risk of stroke, according to the American Heart Association. If two or more of the situation below apply to you see a healthcare provider for a complete assessment of your risks:

Age and Sex: You are a man over 45 years old, or you are a woman over 55 years old, or you have passed menopause or had your ovaries removed and are not taking estrogen.

Family History: Your mother, father, sister, brother or grandparent had a stroke, or your father or brother had a heart attack before age 55, or your mother or sister had a heart attack before age 65.

Blood Pressure: Your blood pressure is 140/90 mm Hg or higher, or a health professional has said your blood pressure is too high, or you don't know what your blood pressure is.

Smoking: You smoke, or live or work with people who smoke tobacco regularly.

Diabetes: You have diabetes, a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL or higher, or you need medicine to control your blood sugar.

Cholesterol: Your total cholesterol is 240 mg/dL or higher, or you don't know your level.

Good Cholesterol: Your HDL or "good" cholesterol is less than 35 mg/dL, or you don't know your HDL cholesterol level.

Physical Activity: Your physical activity level is less than a total of 30 minutes on most days.

Overweight: You are overweight by 20 pounds or more for your height and build.

Medical History: You have been told that you have carotid artery disease, or you have had a stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack), or you have a disease of the leg arteries, a high red blood cell count or sickle cell anemia.

Heart Conditions: You have atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease or other heart condition(s), or you have had a heart attack.

To learn more, visit StrokeAssociation.org.


Reference Source 104

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