Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. Every year, more than 795,000 Americans have a stroke, and more than 140,000 strokes are fatal.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. When this happens, brain cells begin to die within minutes. The severity of a stroke depends on the extent of the damage to the brain.
Some risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
The good news is that you can do things to lower your stroke risk. These include:
- Controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Reducing your alcohol intake
- Getting regular check-ups from your doctor
Stroke is serious, but preventable. Know your risk factors and take steps to reduce them. To learn more about stroke and the Mount Nittany Medical Center stroke program, visit mountnittany.org/stroke.