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Submitted by Allyson M., Sprout Contributor

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Raise awareness with these facts:

  • Stroke is an emergency and a brain attack, cutting off vital blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
  • In the United States, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death, killing over 133,000 people each year, and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability.
  • There are an estimated 7,000,000 stroke survivors in the U.S. over age 20.
  • Approximately 795,000 strokes will occur this year, one occurring every 40 seconds, and taking a life approximately every four minutes.
  • Stroke can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of race, sex or age.
  • From 1998 to 2008, the annual stroke death rate fell approximately 35 percent, and the actual number of deaths fell by 19 percent.
  • Approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
  • African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke compared with whites.

Types of Stroke:

  • Ischemic stroke occurs when arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up of plaque and other fatty deposits. About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain breaks leaking blood into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes account for thirteen percent of all strokes, yet are responsible for more than thirty percent of all stroke deaths.
  • Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death.
  • Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities.
  • The prevalence of transient ischemic attacks (TIA – “mini strokes”) increases with age. Up to 40 percent of all people who suffer a TIA will go on to experience a stroke.
  • Women are twice as likely to die from stroke than breast cancer annually.
  • The estimated direct and indirect cost of stroke in the United States in 2010 is $73.7 billion.

A Stroke is an Emergency. Act FAST and Call 9-1-1! For more information about stroke and National Stroke Awareness Month, visit www.stroke.org.