Stroke Signs & Risk Factors
What is a stroke?
A stroke is a stop in blood flow to the brain. It could be caused by a blocked blood vessel or bleeding in the brain.
Signs of a stroke
Every 45 seconds an American has a stroke. Know the signs and get treatment quickly. Getting treatment within 60 minutes can prevent disability and increase your chances of survival.
- Sudden weakness/numbness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
- Sudden vision changes
- Sudden problems with walking or balance.
Stroke risk factors
80% of strokes are preventable.
Controllable risk factors:
- Quit smoking
- Decrease alcohol consumption
- Exercise and watch your diet
- Maintain low cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar
- See your doctor regularly
Non-controllable risk factors:
- Family history and race
- Previous stroke or heart attack
View the Stroke Risk Scorecard (PDF) from the National Stroke Association to assess your risk.