A stroke happens when blood vessels burst or become blocked. Brain cells require a continuous supply of oxygen and other nutrients supplied by the blood to stay healthy. Blood is pumped from the heart to the brain via many different artery groups called cerebral arteries. The arteries then narrow into small capillaries through which nutrients can diffuse and bathe the brain cells. When blood supply to the brain is interrupted, a stroke occurs. During a stroke, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.
When brain cells die, the abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost. The severity of the damage depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is damaged.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Some people may recover from a stroke but unfortunately about 66 percent of stroke survivors will be left with some sort of disability including paralysis as well speech and emotional problems.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are some risk factors for stroke that you have control over and some that you have no control over. You can help prevent a stroke by changing the risk factors over which you have control. The factors that increase stroke over which you have no control include age, gender, and genetics or family history of stroke.
- The chance of having a stroke almost doubles each decade of life after age 55.
- Stroke is 25 percent more common in men than in women; however, more than half of the total stroke deaths occur in women.
- African Americans have a much higher rate of stroke and a higher risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians.
- Risk of stroke is greater if someone in your family has had a stroke.
- Once you have had a stroke, the risk for another stroke is many times that compared to people who have never had a stroke.
The factors over which you do have control include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol ingestion
- Excess weight
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Use of oral contraceptives
- High stress
- Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.
- On average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke and every three to four minutes someone dies of a stroke.
- Almost 75 percent of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65.
- The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each year after age 55.
- Strokes can occur at any age.
- Stroke is a leading cause of serious disability.
- After a stroke, women have a greater disability than men.
- More women than men die of stroke every year.
- African Americans have almost twice the risk of having a first ever stroke as compared with Caucasians.
- Of all strokes, 87 percent are ischemic, 10 percent are intracerebral hemorrhage and 3 percent are subarachnoid hemorrhage.
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FAQs - Stroke
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