According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States, accounting for 1 in 7 deaths in the U.S. In the U.S., someone has a stroke every 40 seconds1.
One of the biggest contributors to these statistics is a lack of commitment to healthy living. Your lifestyle is your #1 defense against heart disease and stroke and following the steps below can greatly decrease your risk to Heart Disease and Stroke.
Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke, accounting for around 87% of strokes. This type of stroke is caused by blockages or narrowing of the arteries that provide blood to the brain, resulting in ischemia - severely reduced blood flow.
These blockages are often caused by blood clots, which can form either in the arteries connecting to the brain, or in other blood vessels before being swept through the bloodstream and into narrower arteries within the brain. Clots can be caused by fatty deposits within the arteries called plaque.
Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by arteries in the brain either leaking blood or bursting open. The leaked blood puts pressure on brain cells and damages them. Blood vessels can burst or spill blood in the middle of the brain or near the surface of the brain, sending blood into the space between the brain and the skull.
According to www.stroke.org, Hemorrhagic Strokes account for about 15% of all strokes, but they are responsible for about 40% of all stroke deaths.
Prehypertension is a warning sign that you may get high blood pressure in the future. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and kidney failure. There's no cure for high blood pressure, but there is treatment with diet, lifestyle habits, and medications.
Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the US, with one person dying every 4 minutes as a result. For African Americans, stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death.
In the US, approximately 40% of stroke deaths are in males, with 60% in females. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), compared to Caucasians, African Americans have nearly twice the risk of a first-ever stroke and a much higher death rate from stroke.
Stroke is also more likely to affect people if they are overweight, aged 55 or older, have a personal or family history of stroke, are not physically active, drink heavily, smoke or use illicit drugs.
Tobacco use is the "most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is so widespread and significant as a risk factor that the Surgeon General has called it 'the leading preventable cause of disease and deaths in the United States.'1
Smoking increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for blood to clot.