Stroke is a topic that hits me close to home since my mother suffered from a mild stroke a day before Ash Wednesday this year (2020).

As I searched online to learn more about stroke—from prevention, diagnosis to treatment, I wondered if I have ever written an article or e-book about it before. I found this.

I forgot to whom I wrote it. I think I wrote this in 2013. However, the details below can help us deal with (or even preempt) stroke from ever happening to our loved ones or us.

I’ve also created a short infographic about evaluating the signs of a possible stroke.

Stroke facts and stats

Ignorance kills, and this cliché applies even for stroke. Most people have mistaken perceptions of stroke. Here are some of the interesting facts and statistics about stroke.

Ø Stroke is the 3rd most common cause of death following cancer and heart disease. It is the most prominent cause of physical deformities.

Ø There are 2 types of stroke: hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic stroke occurs when blood leaks into the brain tissue. An ischemic stroke happens when blood clots stop the blood flow to a specific area in the brain.  

Ø While a stroke can happen to anyone at any age, 2/3 of the victims are over 60 years old; thus, it is called the “disease of the elderly.”

Ø More than 43% of people whose age is more than 85 years old suffer from silent stroke.

Ø Only 20-25% of people who experienced signs and symptoms are admitted to a hospital within 3 hours from the first sign/symptom onset.

Ø About 1/5 of all the victims will die from a stroke within a month from the date of its occurrence. Approximately 50% of the survivors will become physically disabled.

Ø Approximately 40% of stroke deaths occur in men while 60% in women.

Ø About 80% of all stroke occurrences are preventable.

Ø Left brain damage causes paralysis on the right part of the body, and right brain damage causes paralysis on the left part of the body.

Ø Yearly, 700,000 people suffer from stroke, 500,000 of which are first incidences while the remaining are repeat strokes.

Ø Every 45 seconds, someone in the US suffers from a stroke. One sufferer dies from stroke every 3-4 minutes.

Ø In 1 second, about 32,000 brain cells die, and in 59 seconds, ischemic stroke has already killed 1.9 million of our brain cells. Human has 100 billion brain cells.

Ø Another 4 million people will suffer and die from stroke in 2030, about a 21.9% increase in the current (2013) prevalence rate.

Ø The top three risk factors are diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure, all of which are lifestyle-related.

Ø Black people face higher risk of stroke than White people.

Ø Eating green and yellow vegetables daily reduces the risk of death from stroke by 26%.

Ø Potassium-rich foods reduce the risk of stroke. Consuming more than 4,100 mg of potassium every day reduces the risk of stroke by 50%.

How to determine stroke

Fast treatment lessens the brain damage caused by stroke. One needs to know the signs and symptoms of the stroke, though.

There is a simple test to determine stroke: ask the person to smile, ask the person to raise both arms, and ask the person to repeat a simple sentence (that you are going to say). Facial weakness, arm weakness, and speech slurring can be determined through this.

Another simple test to determine stroke is by asking the person to stick his or her tongue. The tongue must not be crooked or appear on either side.

Remember: if you spot a stroke, BE FAST!

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