Nicole Bissonette, Utah Department of Health’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, explains what to watch for.
More than five million people are living with the after effects of a stroke, a leading cause of disability among adults in the United States. Stroke is more common in men than in women. However, more than half of total stroke deaths occur in women.
Risk factors you can’t control:
o Increasing age: People over age 55 are at greater risk of a stroke.
o Gender: More men than women have strokes in certain age groups, but more women actually die from stroke.
o Race: African-Americans and Hispanics have a higher risk of death and disability from stroke.
o Heredity: A family history of stroke can increase your risk.
o Previous Stroke: History of a previous stroke may increase stroke risk by up to 10 times.
o Previous episode of Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA (“mini-stroke”).
o Heart Disease.
Risk factors you can control:
o High cholesterol
o High blood pressure (hypertension)
o Physical Inactivity
o Overweight or Obesity
Common Signs of Stroke
o Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
o Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
o Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination
o Sudden severe headache with no known cause
o Sudden confusion or trouble speaking
Calling 9-1-1 at first sign of stroke is crucial…
Medical treatment begins as soon as 9-1-1 is called. The emergency dispatcher can instruct the caller on what to do. The patient will continue to receive treatment by the EMTs or paramedics on the way to the hospital. This is the ‘Chain of Survival’— someone calling 9-1-1, emergency dispatch, EMTs to patient, EMTs and patient to hospital, patient to on-time and appropriate treatment.
For more information call 1-866-88-STROKE or visit www.hearthighway.org