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Know Your Stroke Risk Factors

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke and around 800,000 people have a stroke each year in the United States. A stroke is a blood vessel blockage going to the brain. A stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and can lead to significant disability. Control your risk factors to improve your brain health.

The risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity. The risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks as for whites, and blacks have the highest rate of death due to stroke. Though stroke death rates have declined for decades among all races and ethnicities, Hispanics have seen an increase in death rates since 2013.

Research has shown that unhealthy behaviors such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and smoking have an adverse effect on health and increase your stroke risk. For example, smokers have a 2-4x increased risk of stroke. We urge everyone to take a look at their stroke risk factors and pledge to make at least one change to reduce their stroke risk. Here’s how much prevalence of stroke would be reduced if each were eliminated:

– Hypertension 47.9% – Physical inactivity 35.8% – Lipids (blood fats) 26.8% – Poor diet 23.2% – Obesity 18.6% – Smoking 12.4% – Heart causes 9.1% – Alcohol intake 5.8% – Stress 5.8% – Diabetes 3.9%

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