FDA - Office of Women's Health
Take Time To Care www.fda.gov/womens
Each year, more than 500,000 Americans
have a stroke. A stroke is sometimes called a "brain attack. "A
stroke happens when the brain does not get enough blood. This cuts off oxygen
and kills brain cells.
Strokes can affect a person's ability
to speak, see, move, and think. Strokes may even cause death. In fact, they
are the third leading killer in the United
States. And they are the leading cause of disability in adults.
There are three major types of stroke:
- Thrombotic(thrahm-bah-tik) - Thrombotic strokes are caused by fat deposits
(plaques) that have built up in your arteries (blood vessels).
- Embolic(em-bah-lik) - Embolic strokes are caused by a
blood clot in another part of the body.
- Hemorrhagic(hem-uh-ray-jik) 0 Hemorrhagic strokes are
caused when an artery bleeds in the brain.
Who Gets Strokes?
- Most strokes happen to adults over the age of 40.But younger adults and
even children can have them, too.
- About the same number of men and women have strokes. All groups and races
are at risk for strokes. But african-Americans are almost two times as
likely to die from a stroke as whites. And they often suffer more damage.
Lower Your Risk of Stroke
- Control your blood pressure - One out of three people with high blood pressure
doesn't know it. That's a problem, because high blood vessels in the brain,
increasing your chance of stroke. Also, high blood-glucose levels at the time
of a stroke usually lead to more brain damage than when the glucose level is
normal. So it's important to follow your doctor's advice for controlling your
- Stop smoking - Smoking can thicken your blood and cause
dangerous clots. It can also raise your blood pressure. Ask your doctor,
pharmacist or nurse about
ways to quit.
- Exercise regularly - Exercise makes the heart stronger
and improves blood flow. It also helps control weight. Being heavy increases
your chance of diseases.
- Watch for heart disease - Sometimes heart disease makes
blood clots. Make sure you visit doctor regularly.
- See your doctor for stroke-like
Don't ignore the signs of a "mini
stroke" (see below). They can place you at greater risk for a full-blown
stroke later on. If you get any of the signs, see a doctor right away.
Call 911 Right Away! Always treat the warning
signs of a stroke as an emergency. Getting help in less than three (3) hours
will greatly improve your chances for recovery. October 2003
Call 911 if you have any of the following warning signs (or have someone else
call right away):
- Your face, arm or leg gets weak or numb.
- You lose all or part of your
sight in one eye or both.
- You have a hard time speaking and/or understanding other people.
- You get a very bad headache for no reason.
- You get dizzy or fall suddenly.
A lot of people ignore these signs
because they often last only a few minutes. But these "mini-strokes" can
be a warning of a full-blown stroke later. So get medical help right away.
After a Stroke
- Seventy percent (70%) of all stroke survivors aren't able to do the same job
tasks as they were before. Thirty percent (30%) need help caring for themselves.
Fortunately, people who have had a stroke can get back some or all of their
abilities with speech and physical therapy.
FDA has approved several drugs to treat and even prevent stroke. Ask your
doctor for more information. FDA's Office of Women's Health website: www.fda.gov/womens
To learn more....
National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke Information Office
National High Blood Pressure Education Program c/o NHLBI Information Center
The National Stroke Association