World Stroke Day is Sunday, October 29th. Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and stroke is the nation's fifth-leading cause of death. The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association is committed to educating Americans on the warning signs of stroke and the importance of early detection and treatment. The faster stroke is treated, the more likely the patient is to recover. A few seconds can make a tremendous difference. Stroke is an interruption of blood flow to the brain. Without oxygen-rich blood, brain cells die. There are two types of stroke:
1. Hemorrhagic, when a blood vessel ruptures and spills blood into the brain
2. Ischemic, when a blood vessel is blocked and cuts off blood flow to the brain
The majority of strokes are ischemic. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, as 3 out of 4 first-time stroke victims have high blood pressure. Stroke risk is 2 to 4 times higher in smokers. Stroke risk increases with age, but even young adults and children can have strokes.
If someone is having a stroke, think FAST:
• F – Face drooping
• A – Arm weakness
• S – Slurred speech
• T – Time to call 911
The good news is that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. What's good for the heart is good for the brain.
Maintaining a healthy body to have a sharp mind and healthy brain will help reduce your risk for stroke and heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends you get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, exercise, don't smoke, get regular check-ups with your doctor, and be socially active. Visit www.strokeassociation.org to learn more about risk factors, warning signs, prevention and more. Join the social media conversation by using #WorldStrokeDay.