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Stroke Awareness

Stroke Awareness - Know the Facts

Each year nearly 800,000 Americans experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 6.5 million stroke survivors alive today.

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes blocked or bursts. There are two types of stroke - hemorrhagic and ischemic. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when brain arteries rupture and an ischemic stroke occurs when blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.

Are you or a loved one at risk?

Many warning signs indicate you may be suffering a stroke. Depending on the function of the part of the brain affected.

Many factors increase the risk for stroke. Some factors can be controlled, while others cannot.

  • Strokes are four to six times more likely in people with high blood pressure.
  • People with high cholesterol are at double the risk of having a stroke.
  • Strokes are six times more likely to occur in people with heart disease.
  • Excess weight can lead to heart disease and high cholesterol, which can lead to a stroke.
  • Heavy drinking increases the risk for stroke.
  • Smokers have double the risk for stroke as nonsmokers.

More information

If you experience any of the major stroke warning signs listed below, call 911. It is important to get to a hospital immediately.

  • Sudden loss of speech
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Sudden paralysis
  • Sudden weakness
  • Sudden dizziness

More information

Healthy diet, exercise, controlling blood pressure and not smoking are cornerstones of stroke prevention.

  • Control your blood pressure.
  • Find out if you have heart disease, especially an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Find out if you have a diseased carotid artery
  • Lower your cholesterol.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Control your weight.
  • If you have diabetes, manage the disease.

More information

It's not just adults who have strokes, children and even infants – can suffer strokes. Stroke is one of the top 10 causes of death in children, and the majority of pediatric stroke survivors can have residual neurological or cognitive impairment. However, children generally tend to recover from stroke better than adults. The warning signs for pediatric stroke can include:

  • Severe headache – often the first complaint
  • Eye movement problems
  • Sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding words or simple sentences
  • Sudden blurred vision or decreased vision in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness, loss of balance or lack of coordination

More information on pediatric stroke

Patient Success Stories

Teresa Martens – Age: 23
Hometown: Higginsville, Missouri
Diagnosis: Symptomatic moyamoya disease
Treatment: Bypass surgery and encephalo duraterio myosynangiosis
Read Teresa's Story

Dale Wessell – Age: 67
Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Diagnosis: Stroke due to carotid dissection
Treatment: Emergency carotid artery stenting
Read Dale's Story

Karen Bender – Age: 43
Hometown: Parma, Ohio
Diagnosis: Ruptured brain aneurysm
Treatment: Minimally invasive coil embolization
Read Karen's Story

Danielle DeBerry – Age: 26
Hometown: Shaker Heights, Ohio
Diagnosis: Brain Aneurysm
Treatment: Minimally invasive coil embolization
Read Danielle's Story

Online Health Chat Transcripts

In case you missed the opportunity to chat live with Cleveland Clinic physicians about cerebrovascular disease, you can review the transcripts below.

Stroke & Aneurysm Resources

Cleveland Clinic's Cerebrovascular Center has put together the following comprehensive patient fact sheets (PDFs) to answer your questions.

Facts & information on stroke

Facts & information on pediatric stroke

Facts & information on aneurysm

Primary Stroke Center Locations

Cleveland Clinic provides life-saving care for stroke patients in your community. We have a network of three Comprehensive Stroke Centers, six Primary Stroke Centers and five Stroke Ready Centers to best provide for the unique and specialized needs of stroke patients. Together, we care for more than 3,000 stroke patients on an inpatient basis each year.

Comprehensive Stroke Hubs
Primary Stroke Centers
Stroke Ready

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