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Symptoms of a Stroke

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Stroke can either occur when blood flow to your brain is blocked or when blood vessels in your brain break and bleed into your brain.

Your risk of having a stroke drastically increases with age - the odds of having a stroke double for each decade after age 55. While men and women have about the same risk of having a stroke, African Americans have almost twice the risk of having a stroke as whites.

Preventing a Stroke

Like heart attacks, strokes often occur suddenly.

There are steps you can take to help prevent your chances of having a stroke. It's very important to reduce high blood pressure. According to a recent study, for every 10-point increase in systolic blood pressure (the top number), your risk of stroke increases or 100%. Other things you can do to minimize your risk of stroke are to stop smoking, manage your diabetes, maintain a healthy weight, make sure you have a healthy blood cholesterol level, eat a heart healthy diet and exercise each day.

In addition, some conditions increase your risk of stroke. Atrial fibrillation (a heart rhythm disorder), sickle cell disease and coronary heart disease can increase your risk of having a stroke. It's important to understand your risk and take steps to manage your health with your doctor.

Stroke Warning Signs

  • Blurred vision
  • A crushing headache
  • Feeling of numbness in the face
  • Having trouble speaking
  • An inability to follow what people say

If you have any of these signs of a stroke, call for help immediately!


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