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1313 HERMANN DR
HOUSTON, TX 77004
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Stroke. Our nation’s number 3 killer 
Park Plaza Hospital 
Thursday, 08 January 2004 
 
 
Every 45 seconds, someone in American has a stroke. About 700,000 Americans will have a stroke this year. In fact, stroke is our nation’s number 3 killer and a leading cause of severe, long-term disability.

Despite the enormous strides made in stroke treatment and prevention every year, strokes still kill close to 160,000 people annually.

What is a Stroke?
Stroke Warning Signs

Risk Factors

What is a Stroke?

Stroke is a type of cardiovascular disease. It  affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die.

Clots that block an artery cause ischemic (is-KEM-ik) strokes. This is the most common type of stroke, acounting for 70-80 percent of all strokes.

Ruptured blood vessels cause hemorrhagic (hem-o-RAJ-ik) or bleeding strokes.

When part of the brain dies from lack of blood flow, the part of the body it controls is affected. Strokes can cause paralysis, affect language and vision, and cause other problems. Treatments are available to minimize the potentially devastating effects of stroke, but to receive them, one must recognize the warning signs and act quickly!

Stroke Warning Signs

There are warning signs that may serve as clues your body sends that your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke or "brain attack," don't wait, call a doctor or 911 right away. These warning signs include:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.
  • Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.
  • Sudden difficulty speaking or trouble understanding speech.
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
  • Unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially with any of the other signs.

Other danger signs that may occur include double vision, drowsiness and nausea or vomiting. Sometimes the warning signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These brief episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs, are sometimes called "mini-strokes." Since these episodes tend to be brief, many people ignore them. However, TIAs may help identify an underlying serious condition that isn't going to go away without medical help.

Risk Factors

Males and females of all ages and races suffer from strokes. Regardless of age or race, there are risk factors that you should know about. Keep in mind, though, that having a risk factor doesn't mean you'll have a stroke. On the other hand, if you are missing a risk factor does not mean you'll avoid a stroke.

Treatable or controllable risk factors for a stroke include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

For more information on Stroke visit www.strokeassociation.org

 
 
 
 
 
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