Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Iowa, killing more than 1,600 Iowans last year alone. Jayme Sandberg, spokeswoman for the American Heart Association of Iowa, says people need to be aware of the causes and the symptoms.

People need to know the signs, teach others and be aware of where hospitals are located. There is no age limit on strokes as 20-percent of the people who die from strokes in Iowa are under age 75.

Sandberg says a stroke may show itself in several different ways. Warning signs include: sudden numbness in face, arm or leg, sudden confusion and trouble speaking or understanding. Other signs include: impaired vision, trouble walking, dizziness, or a sudden, severe headache.

She says Iowans need to work on their health to help prevent a stroke. It’s largely preventable through good health, watching weight, exercising, knowing your blood pressure and being a non-smoker.

If you think you’ve had a stroke, it’s vital to get to a hospital right away. Medications, if given within a few hours, can dramatically increase chances of survival. Learn more at: or at