American Stroke Month

"I will not have a stroke." That small sentence is a powerful declaration. A promise of change. A focus on prevention. I will make changes to my daily life that help prevent stroke. I will help my family make changes that prevent stroke.

Whether it's my first or another, I will not have a stroke.

Stroke Risk Factors

Stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by not smoking, making healthy food choices, getting enough physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight and treating conditions such as high blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.

High blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke because it's the leading cause of stroke. Normal blood pressure is below 120/80. If you have been told you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to reduce it.
Irregular heartbeat- known as atrial fibrillation or AFib- causes your heart's upper chambers to quiver, rather than beating in an organized, rhythmic way, and this increases your risk of stroke five times. The fluttering of your heart may cause blood to pool and clot, and those clots can travel to your brain. Managing AFib is key to reducing your stroke risk. 

Man walking up stairs
Person squeezing Lime onto healthy salad

Having diabetes more than doubles your risk of stroke. Every two minutes, an adult with diabetes in the U.S. is hospitalized for stroke. Work with your doctor to manage your diabetes and reduce your risk.
High cholesterol increases the risk of blocked arteries. If an artery leading to the brain becomes blocked or throws a clot, a stroke can occur. If you have high blood cholesterol, work with your doctor to get it under control.

Smoking damages blood vessels, leading to blockages and stroke. Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.


7 Ways to Prevent Stroke 

  1. Monitor your blood pressure.
  2. Control your cholesterol.
  3. Keep your blood sugar down.
  4. Get active.
  5. Eat better.
  6. Lose weight if you need to.
  7. Don’t smoke, period.

Senior couple walking with pet bulldog down grassy lane
Quit Smoking Hand Smashing Cigarettes

5 Steps to Quit Smoking 

So you’ve decided to quit smoking. Great! It’s one of the best things you can do to improve your health and add years to your life. It’s not easy — but you can do it. 


Face Drooping

Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?

Arm Weakness

Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?


Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like "The sky is blue."

Time to Call 9-1-1

If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately. 

Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared.

Stroke Month Resources

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Are you a stroke survivor?

One in four stroke survivors has another.