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A neurological problem that can affect all ages

Roughly every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. People of all ages are vulnerable, despite seemingly good health. In fact, the risk of stroke is increasing faster in individuals ages 30-45 than in any other age group.

What are the symptoms of a stroke?

Symptoms of stroke include:

  • Sudden, severe headache with an unknown cause
  • Sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg, on one side of the body
  • Sudden dimness or visual loss, particularly in one eye
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or staggering walk
  • Slurred speech or inability to talk
  • Abrupt loss of consciousness

Call 911 if you experience any of these symptoms.

Remember the acronym FAST:

  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arms: Ask the person to hold both arms up evenly. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a single sentence. Are his/her words slurred or mixed up?
  • Time: If the person shows any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately!

Modifiable stroke risk factors at any age:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Irregular heart beat (atrial fibrillation)
  • Obesity
  • Family history of stroke
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Uncontrollable risk factors

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Family history of stroke or heart disease
  • Previous stroke or TIA
  • Hole in the heart (PFO)