Stroke – Signs and Risk Factors


A stroke is when something blocks blood flow to part of the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. This can cause brain damage, disability, and even death. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. High blood pressure, smoking, and having a history of a stroke increase a person’s chances of having a stroke.

Signs of a Stroke

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arms, or legs
  • Sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding others
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance/coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

Risk factors for Stroke

The following common health conditions can increase your risk for having a stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Sickle Cell disease

The following lifestyle choices can increase your risk for having a stroke:

  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Too much alcohol
  • Tobacco use

A stroke is very serious and requires emergency medical care. Call 911 immediately if you or someone else is showing signs of a stroke.

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