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Every year more than 795,000 Americans experience a stroke and one-fourth of them are under the age of 65. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of adult disability. Yet we know that stroke is one of the most preventable of all life threatening diseases. It is never too late to start taking action to lower your stroke risk. The National Stroke Association offers the following Stroke Prevention Guidelines:
o Know your blood pressure. If it is elevated, work with your doctor to control it.o Find out if you have atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. If you do, work with your doctor to manage it.o If you smoke, stop.o If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.o Know your cholesterol number. If it is high, work with your doctor to control it. o If you are diabetic, follow your doctor’s recommendations to manage the condition.o Include exercise in your daily routine.o Enjoy a lower sodium, lower fat diet.o Find out if you have circulation problems and work with your doctor to control them.
If you experience any one of the following warning signs of stroke, call 9-1-1.
o Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body.o Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.o Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.o Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.o Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Treatment can be more effective if given quickly. Every minute counts!For more information, visit www.strokes.com or call 1-800-STROKES.
Adapted from material prepared by the National Stroke Association