Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot. The brain cells in the immediate area then begin to die because they are not receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need to stay alive.
Approximately 128,000 people die from strokes each year, and strokes are one of the leading causes of long-term disability in the United States. Common risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and obesity. While strokes most often happen to the elderly, 25 percent of all strokes occur in those under the age of 60.
Each May, health organizations across the United States work to raise awareness of strokes and their symptoms. Common stroke symptoms include facial drooping, weakness on one side of the body and speech difficulty.
In addition to being able to recognize stroke symptoms, it is important to know what you can do reduce your chances of having a stroke. The infographic below outlines some of the steps you can take to start improving your health today.