Stroke or cerebrovascular accident (CVA) occurs when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted due to lack of blood supply (ischemic stroke) or bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke).
In the U.S. stroke is the 5th leading cause of death and about 130,000 people die due to stroke each year. Reduce your stroke risk through lifestyle changes – eating healthy, regular physical activity, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Reduce risk by medical management of risk factors such as high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (AFib), high cholesterol, diabetes, and circulation problems.
- Some risk factors for stroke are uncontrolled such as age, gender, & ethnicity.
- After the age of 55, stroke risk doubles every 10 years.
- Women experience more strokes each year than men, mainly because women live longer than men and stroke occur more in elderly.
- African Americans have twice the risk of stroke, partially because they are more susceptible to high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity.
- The risk for stroke increases if a family member (parent, grandparent, or sibling) has had a stroke or a heart attack at an early age.
- TIAs are episodes of stroke-like symptoms that last less than 24 hours and cause no permanent damage or disability.
- TIAs can be a serious warning of a possible future stroke. There is a 17% increased risk of stroke within 90 days of a TIA.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke by memorizing F.A.S.T.
- Time is critical. Faster action leads to improved survival and recovery.