Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability among men and women in our country, yet fewer than one in five Americans recognize the symptoms of stroke. To learn more about stroke and its risk factors, check out the following stroke facts from the CDC, and act F.A.S.T. to seek life-saving treatment at the first signs and symptoms of stroke.
Did You Know?
- Approximately 130,000 Americans die from stroke each year.
- An estimated one in four American dies from stroke every four minutes.
- More than 795,000 people in the United States have a new or recurrent stroke each year (about 610,000 of these are first or new strokes and 185,000 of these are recurrent).
- In 2009, people younger than 65 years made up 34 percent of all stroke hospitalizations.
- The southeastern United States has the country's highest death rates from stroke.
- Almost 50 percent of Americans have at least one of these three stroke risk factors: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.
- Nearly 80 percent of strokes are preventable by developing healthy lifestyle habits to reduce stroke risk factors early on in life.
Every minute counts for stroke victims. In fact, each 15-minute delay in delivering emergency medical care after stroke robs survivors an average of a month of healthy life. Because of this, the American Stroke Association recommends acting F.A.S.T in the event of stroke.
F - Face
Ask the person to smile. Is it uneven? Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one drift downward? Is one weak or numb?
S - Speech
Ask the person to repeat a sentence, like 'The sky is the blue.' Is the sentence repeated correctly? Is speech slurred or are you unable to understand the words?
T - Time
Call 9-1-1 and get the person to the emergency room right away if he or she shows these signs and symptoms of stroke. Remember to record the time so you know when symptoms first appeared.
When it comes to stroke, time is critical. Knowing your facts, and getting to a hospital and receiving treatment immediately saves lives and reduces disabilities post-stroke. Learn more about stroke prevention, treatment and recovery here. It may just save your life!