The American Heart Association is in the midst of a campaign that’s trying to increase the awareness of the dangers of strokes. Jennifer Crome of the Iowa Heartland Affiliate of the American Heart Association says a national survey showed only one-percent of Americans are concerned about the possibility of a stroke. Stroke — which is a blockage of blood to the brain caused by a ruptured or blocked blood vessel — is the third leading cause of death in the U-S, and the leading cause of long-term disability.Crome says the most important thing you can do is know these stroke warning signs: a sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, sudden confusion or trouble speaking, trouble seeing with both eyes, trouble walking or maintaining you balance, sudden severe headache with no known cause. She says everyone assumes that one whole side of your body will go numb, but that’s not always the case, as symptoms vary. Who’s most likely to have a stroke? Crome says you’re at risk for a stroke if you’re over 55 years old, have a family history of stroke or heart disease, high blood pressure, a diabetic or smoker. Crome says you can prevent a stroke.You need to work with your doctor to reduce your risk factors. Crome says it’s important to know the risk factors as there are now drugs that can greatly reduce the damage done by a stroke.
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