Essential facts on stroke

Essential facts on stroke

Stroke, Also Known As Cerebrovascular Accident, CVA, Or Brain Attack, Is A Leading Cause Of Death And Disability That Takes A Life Every 80 Seconds In The US. It Happens When An Artery Carrying Oxygen And Nutrients To A Part Of The Brain Is Blocked Or Burst, Which Stops Or Decreases The Blood Supply To The Area. The Brain Cells Without Oxygen Begin To Die Within Minutes When This Happens.

The Stroke Can Be Of Three Types.

  1. When Blood Flow To A Part Of The Brain Is Stopped Or Reduced, This Is Called Ischemic Stroke.
  2. When  Bleeding Occurs Within The Brain Due To A Burst Artery, This Is A Hemorrhagic Stroke.
  3. When A Clot Blocks An Artery Temporarily, It Is Called A Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), Or "Mini Stroke".

A stroke is a medical emergency and prompt treatment must be provided to minimize the damage caused to the brain. If immediate action is taken within 3 to 4.5 hours, the clot could be dissolved using thrombolytics.


Symptoms of a stroke appear without prior warning and would vary according to the type of the stroke. These are results of nerve impairment and mostly occur on one side of the body. It is important to identify the symptoms and take note of the time they begin.

The symptoms include:

  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Confusion
  • Numbness and paralysis of one side of the face and body, drooping lips
  • Double vision and/or loss of vision in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness and loss of coordination

stroke symptoms

An Easy Way To Identify The Onset Of A Stroke Is Given In The Acronym FAST.

  1. Face Drooping: One Side Of The Mouth Droops When Smiling
  2. Arm Weakness: One Arm Drifts Down, When Raising Both Above Head
  3. Speech Difficulty: Slurred Or Impaired Speech
  4. Time To Call 911: Contact The Emergency Services Immediately

Risk Factors

High Blood Pressure

This is the main risk factor. Blood pressure is considered high if it stays at or is over 140/90 mmHg over time , or over 130/80 mmHg if you have diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

Heart Conditions

Specifically conditions such as Ischemic heart disease, cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation

A personal or family history of strokes

The risk of getting a stroke increases after the first stroke, with the risk of a repeat stroke at its highest right after. Having TIA or a family member who suffered stroke also increases the risk.

Age and gender

The risk increases with age. Men Are more likely to suffer a stroke than women, however, women are more likely to die. Women using birth control pills are slightly at a higher risk.

Race and ethnicity.

More risk for Alaska Native, African American and American Indian adults than in Hispanic, white or Asian American adults.


Causes damage to blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Exposure to secondhand smoke also can increase the risk.

Certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell disease, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), and bleeding disorders

Brain aneurysms or arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)

Alcohol And Drug Use Such As Cocaine Or Amphetamines

High Cholesterol


Overweight and Obesity

Lack of physical exercise

Stress and depression

Unhealthy diet