Educating yourself about stroke can be life-changing

Knowing if you’re at risk, what stroke is, and the types of stroke can help you be prepared when it’s time to overreact.

Who is most at risk?

Stroke can happen to anyone at any time. There are a number of risk factors for stroke – some you can manage and some that are out of your control.

  • Uncontrolled risk factors include: 
    • Age: Stroke can occur at any age; 1 out of 5 people who have a stroke are under 55 and your chance of stroke increases as you get older
    • Race:  African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders have a higher risk of stroke than people of other races
    • Gender: More women have stroke than men and more women die from stroke than from breast cancer every year 
    • Family history: You are at greater risk if a family member has had a stroke
  • Manageable risk factors include:
    • High blood pressure
    • Atrial fibrillation (A-fib)
    • High cholesterol
    • Smoking
    • Diabetes
    • Poor circulation
    • Lack of physical activity
    • Obesity

What is stroke?

Stroke is a brain attack. It occurs when blood vessels in the brain, called arteries, are blocked or burst. The consequences of stroke can be long-term disability and even death.

What happens during stroke?

Obstruction or damage to the arteries in the brain may prevent it from getting the necessary blood supply. This can cause brain cells to die, inflicting permanent damage. Depending on which part of the brain is damaged, an individual’s ability to speak, see, and move may become impaired. That’s why it is important to act immediately the moment you suspect stroke.

Types of stroke

Ischemic stroke – occurs when blood flow through an artery is blocked, which accounts for 87% of all strokes.

Hemorrhagic stroke – occurs when an artery is ruptured, causing swelling, pressure, and damage to the brain.

Additional resources

Visit our partner stroke organization:

The goal of the National Stroke Association is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by providing education and programs on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and support for all impacted by stroke.

Do you know when to act?

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Learn to recognize the signs of stroke.

Help spread the word about stroke

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Share the signs of stroke with your friends and family.