Stroke is a primary yet often preventable cause of disability in the United States. Here’s what you need to know about stroke.
- Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States. One American dies from stroke every four minutes.
- Every year, about 800,000 Americans experience a stroke; more than 600,000 of these are first-time victims.
- People who get emergency medical treatment within four-and-a-half hours of their first stroke symptoms tend to have less disability three months later than those who delayed care.
- Ischemic stroke, a clot or an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain, accounts for about 87 percent of all cases. Acute ischemic stroke can cause small vessel occlusion, which doctors treat with thrombolysis with intravenous t-PA. It can also cause large vessel occlusion, whose treatment includes mechanical thrombectomy with Stryker Trevo, Covidien Solitaire, Penumbra aspiration; or thrombolysis with intra-arterial t-PA.
- A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain leaks or ruptures. This can cause ruptured brain aneurysm, brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF), or subarachnoid hemorrhage-related vasospasm. Treatment includes endovascular embolization, coiling, microsurgical clipping, radiosurgery or balloon angioplasty.
- African American stroke risk is nearly twice as high as Caucasian risk; Hispanic risk falls between those two groups.
- When it comes to stroke, early intervention can save your life and reduce disability. Learn the signs of stroke so you can identify it and seek help right away. "BE FAST,” the acronym that stands for “Balance, Eyes, Face, Arm or Leg, Speech and Time.” If you notice that someone is experiencing loss of balance, blurred or double vision, facial droop, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs, or altered speech, call 911 immediately.
- There are many risk factors for stroke that you can lower or treat through diet, medication or lifestyle changes. Those include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, inactivity, high cholesterol, and fat and salt intake.