We want every person I meet to know three things about stroke: What causes them, how to prevent them, and how to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke.
A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the brain is suddenly either blocked or breaks. Either of these events interrupts blood flow to an area of the brain, causing brain cells to die and brain damage to occur.
Stroke is serious. It’s the leading cause of long-term adult disability in the US, and it’s one of the leading causes of death.
Stroke Risk Factors
There are two kinds of stroke risk factors, those that can’t be controlled, and those that can.
The only risk factors that can’t be controlled include a family history of strokes, and being over the age of 55.
The way family history impacts an individual’s stroke risk is significant. We don’t know most of the genes involved in stroke risks yet, but we do know that stroke runs in families.
Also, most strokes happen in people over age 55, because gradual changes in the body’s blood vessels happen over a lifetime. However, we often see strokes in younger people because of lifestyle-related risk factors.
Major stroke risk factors that can be controlled:
How to Reduce Your Risk
Finally, We want to talk about the importance of recognizing the signs and symptom of a stroke.
The symptoms of a stroke can be remembered with a helpful acronym of F.A.S.T.
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