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Stroke - occurs when a blockage causes blood flow to the brain to stop or when a blood vessel in or around the brain bursts. Strokes can happen to people of any age but are more common in older adults.

  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in New Hampshire (NH) and the United States (US)
  • Stroke is a leading cause of long term disability
  • In NH, the trend for stroke deaths has been declining
  • In 2000, there were 665 deaths due to stroke and in 2015 there were 442 (wisdom.dhhs.nh.gov)
  • In NH, hospitalization rates have not changed significantly. In 2005, there were 2,397 hospitalizations due to stroke and in 2009, there were 2,577 (wisdom.dhhs.nh.gov)
  • Stroke Costs in the US are estimated to be 33 billion each year (includes cost of health care, medications, missed days of work) 1

Stroke Hospitalizations Chart

It is important to increase awareness about stroke prevention, signs, symptoms, and treatment and what one can do to help stay healthy.

Stroke Symptoms

  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination

FAST Signs of Stroke

Know the Warning Signs of Stroke by Learning F.A.S.T.
Learning F.A.S.T. is easy to remember and can help save a life.

  • F - Face drooping
  • A - Arm Weakness
  • S - Speech Difficulty
  • T - Time to call 911 2

If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, time is critical and having access to early treatment can help improve one’s chances of having a good outcome.

Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke (YouTube)

Types of Stroke
There are three common types of stroke.

  1. Ischemic Stroke - the most common type of stroke happens when there is a blockage that prevents blood flow to part of the brain.
  2. Hemorrhagic Stroke – occurs if there is an artery in the brain that leaks blood or ruptures.
  3. Trans Ischemic Attack (TIA) – is often called a “mini stroke” and is caused by a blood clot. The symptoms occur quickly and only last a short time.

Stroke Risk Factors

  • High blood pressure
  • Having had a previous stroke
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Family history of stroke
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being of certain races or ethnicity (for more information check with your health care provider)
  • Increasing age
  • Smoking

Many strokes can be prevented by leading a healthful lifestyle such as quitting tobacco limiting alcohol consumption, getting regular physical activity, and checking your blood pressure regularly. Talk to your healthcare provider regarding how to manage your risk and/or health conditions.

If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, time is critical and having access to early treatment can help improve one’s chances of having a good outcome.

References:

  1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Stroke Facts, www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm, Accessed April 28, 2017
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Stroke Signs and Symptoms, www.cdc.gov/stroke/signs_symptoms.htm, Accessed April 28, 2017

Last update: May 1, 2017

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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