May is Stroke Awareness Month

Did you know that every 6 seconds someone in the world has a stroke? And, stroke is the #3 cause of death of adults in the United States! Educating others about stroke is something I feel passionately about; I thought this was the perfect opportunity to write about it since May is National Stroke Awareness month.

Stroke can occur by either a blood clot (Ischemic stroke), or a torn artery (hemorrhage). Both types cause damage to the brain, and in effect, damage the function of the body. Since different parts of the brain have different functions, the stroke can affect speech, mobility, memory, sleep, and other vital functions.

Depending on age, health, race, and family medical history, some people are more prone to stroke than others. The good news is that most strokes are preventable by making changes to your diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits. 80% of strokes are preventable, so educating yourself, family, friends, and others is important in decreasing your risk of stroke.

Here are some facts you may not know about stroke, but could help save your life or the life of someone you know:


  • 15 million each year have a stroke
  • There will be 5.7 million stroke-related deaths
  • Stroke is the 2nd leading cause of death for people over the age of 60
  • Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death for people ages 15-59
  • It is the leading cause of long-term disability in the world

In the United States:[2]

  • Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke
  • Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke
  • Women are more prone to stroke than men, by 55,000 annually
  • African Americans are twice as likely to have a stroke than whites
  • 100,000 women under the age of 65 have strokes each year
  • Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death of Hispanics

Call Emergency services immediately if you see any of the following,
and follow the F.A.S.T. acronym to help you remember the signs of stroke: [3]

F (Face): Does one side of their face droop?

A (Arms): If you ask the person to hold both their hands out in front of them with their eyes closed. Does one hand drift down?

S (Speech): Is their speech slow, slurred, or not making sense?

T (Time): Timing is everything! Get the person to the hospital as soon as possible

Stroke symptoms in WOMEN are different from that of men:[4]

  • 73% of women DON’T know the signs of stroke
  • Only 3 out of 10 women know they are at a higher risk than men of having stroke
  • Women experience different stroke symptoms than men,including: [5]
    • Sudden shortness of breath
    • Sudden hiccups
    • Sudden nausea
    • Sudden headache with no known cause
    • Sudden general weakness
    • Sudden face or limb pain


American Stroke Association:

National Stroke Association:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

[1] World stroke campaign. World Stroke Organization, 2011. Web. May 23 2011.

[2] “Understanding Risk.” American Stroke Association, n.d. Web. May 23, 2011.

[3] “Warning Signs of Stroke.” National Stroke Association. 2011. Web. May 23 2011.

[4] “Women and Stroke.” National Stroke Association, n.d. Web. May 23 2011.

[5] “Unique Symptoms in Women.” National Stroke Association, May 2011. Web. May 23 2011.



3 thoughts on “May is Stroke Awareness Month”

  1. I met someone that may have had a stroke in the hospital. She’s in a wheelchair and demanded that I fetch her cigarettes. I looked at her like who are you talking to? We had just met and did not become friends.

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