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Are You at Risk for a Stroke?

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Are You at Risk for a Stroke?

Do you recognize the faces in the photo above?

Would it surprise you to learn that these are the faces of stroke victims? Stroke can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, or gender. Stroke kills more than 133,000 people a year. Many people don’t realize that up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by working with a healthcare professional to manage risk.

National Stroke Association’s Faces of Stroke public awareness campaign aims to change the public perceptions of stroke through education and personal stories of those impacted by the fourth leading cause of death. Throughout May’s National Stroke Awareness Month, these four campaign ambassadors will begin educating the communities they live in about important life-saving stroke information.

About Stroke

A stroke is a brain attack that occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain.

Controllable Stroke Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Circulation problems
  • Tobacco use and smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity

Uncontrollable Stroke Risk Factors

  • Age (over 55)
  • Gender (Women have more strokes each year than men, mostly because women live longer and stroke occurs more often as we age. About 55,000 more women than men have strokes each year, but stroke incidence is higher in men than women at younger ages.)
  • Race (African-American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander)
  • Family history of stroke
  • Previous stroke or TIA
  • Fibromuscular Dysplasia
  • Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO or Hole in the Heart)

Symptoms of Stroke

Common symptoms of stroke symptoms in both men and women:

  • 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

Additional stroke symptoms reported in women:

  • Sudden face and limb pain
  • Sudden hiccups
  • Sudden nausea
  • Sudden general weakness
  • Sudden chest pain
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sudden palpitations

Stroke is an emergency. Recognizing warning signs can be easy if you remember to think FAST:

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. Does the speech sound slurred or strange?

T = Time: If you observe any of these signs it’s time to call 9-1-1.

Next Page: Meet the Faces of Stroke Ambassadors pictured above

Photo: National Stroke Association’s 2012 Faces of Stroke Ambassadors, from left: Dick Burns, Charles Louis, Bailey Carlson, Lenice Hogan. (PRNewsFoto/National Stroke Association)

Source: National Stroke Association / PR Newswire

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Read more: Conditions, Family, General Health, Health, Heart & Vascular Disease, High Blood Pressure, Life, Men's Health, News & Issues, Women's Health,

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1:11AM PST on Jan 10, 2013

the F.A.S.T. anagram is one we use in the uk too. my friends mother has had 6 mini strokes at present, each one does more damage, but she's fiercely independant and wants to stay that way. you need to have a strong mentality to get through the trials and tribulations of having a stroke, or being a family member/friend to someone who has

10:31AM PDT on May 14, 2012

wow! i gotta watch my cholesterol and keep moving!!!

4:07PM PDT on May 8, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:54AM PDT on May 8, 2012


1:59AM PDT on May 7, 2012

Our lifestyles are too sedintary - that most of the problem...

2:34PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Been there, done that, way before my time. It sucked.

4:24AM PDT on May 3, 2012

Very interesting!

3:30AM PDT on May 3, 2012

Thank You for posting

7:27PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Great info. Thanks for posting

6:25PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Thanks for the info!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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