The latest data from the CDC shows that every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. And what’s worse, someone dies from stroke every 3.5 minutes. The truth is, more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year, even though 80% of strokes are preventable. (CDC) That’s why our care team has come together to share important facts about strokes, teach you how to identify warning signs, and what you can do now to prevent a stroke later.

Facts About Stokes 

  • Stroke is a leading cause of death for Americans 
  • In 2020, 1 in 6 deaths from cardiovascular disease was due to stroke.  
  • Roughly 610,000 of the 795,000 strokes a year in the United States are first time strokes. 
  • Stroke is the leading cause of serious long-term disability 
  • Stroke reduces mobility in more than half of stroke survivors aged 65 and older 
  • Stroke risk increases with age, but strokes can—and do—occur at any age. 

Stroke Facts, CDC 

How to Spot a Stroke – Know the Warning Signs

While stokes happen suddenly, there are warning signs which include: 

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or difficulty understanding speech
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or lack of coordination

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the signs which leads to delayed treatment, but there is hope! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, patients who arrive at the emergency room within 3 hours of their first symptoms often have less disability 3 months after a stroke that those who received delayed care. What does this mean for you? 

If you experience any of these symptoms call 911 immediately. 

Elderly man checking his blood pressure at home

Identifying Your Risk Factor for Stroke

Anyone can have a stroke at any age. But certain things can increase your chances of having a stroke. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from a stroke is to understand your risk and how to control it. (CDC) 

The leading causes of stroke include: 

High blood pressure a leading cause of stroke, occurs when the pressure of the blood in your arteries and other blood vessels is too high. 

Heart disease – common heart disorders like coronary artery disease cause plaque buildup in arteries which can block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain. 

High cholesterolextra cholesterol can build up in the arteries, including those of the brain. This can lead to narrowing of the arteries, stroke, and other problems. 

Diabetes Diabetes causes sugars to build up in the blood and prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the various parts of your body, including your brain. 

Healthy Habits Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

When it comes to your risk for stroke, your lifestyle choices make a big impact. This means that developing healthy behaviors can lower your risk and it’s never too late to start! According to health experts at the CDC: 

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Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol has been linked to stroke and heart disease. Shifting your diet to include more vegetables, fiber, and lean proteins can help reduce your risk for stroke and improve your overall wellbeing. 

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Not getting enough physical activity can lead to other health conditions that increase your risk for stroke. Adding 30 minutes of exercise to your schedule every day can help you manage high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes which can lower your risk for stroke. 

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Drinking too much alcohol increases blood pressure and triglycerides which harden your arteries. Limiting your alcohol intake to one drink a day or less can help minimize the impact of alcohol on your body and reduce your risk for stroke. 

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Using tobacco like cigarettes can damage your heart and blood vessels while nicotine raises blood pressure. Carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. By eliminating tobacco and tobacco-related products, you can greatly reduce your risk for stroke.  

Getting Help After a Stroke

Having a stroke doesn’t always mean death, but it almost always requires recovery and rehabilitation. If you or a loved one have experienced a stroke and need help managing daily routines like: 

  • Bathing

  • Toileting
  • Meal Prep
  • Transportation
  • Appointment Support
  • Light Housework
  • Adhering to discharge instructions
  • Managing mobility devices
  • Medication reminders

Reach out to our care team. Together, we’ll create a care plan that meets your needs and focuses on healthy, successful recovery. For more information on how our in-home care services can help, check out our article Better Stroke Recovery with In-Home Care.