May marks National Stroke Awareness Month, and this year the National Stroke Association is turning the spotlight on the modifiable risk factors that account for 90% of strokes globally. Hypertension remains the single most important modifiable risk factor, accounting for nearly 48% of strokes. With eight in 10 people experiencing their first stroke having hypertension, getting your blood pressure checked is an important step in controlling your stroke risk.
Risk factors include; hypertension, physical inactivity, poor diet, obesity, smoking, alcohol use, high blood fats (Lipids), stress, and diabetes.
Beyond reducing your risk for stroke, knowing the signs and symptoms of a stroke are equally important.
The acronym FAST is an easy way to identify the most common symptoms of a stroke:
F - Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
A - Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
S - Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is their speech slurred?
T - Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information visit stroke.org.