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Stroke by the Numbers

What You Need to Know

Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. That adds up to more than 795,000 strokes a year, 610,000 of which are first or new strokes. When it comes to stroke, recognizing the signs and seeking treatment can help provide better outcomes.

Here is everything you need to know about stroke, by the numbers.

  1. One in seven strokes occurs in people ages 15 to 49. It’s important to know the risks, regardless of your age. In 2009, 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke were younger than 65.
  2. Up to 80 percent of common causes of stroke are controllable. Try reducing your risks by exercising at least 30 minutes daily, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, not drinking alcohol to excess and controlling your blood pressure.
  3. There are two types of strokes. An ischemic stroke, the more common of the two, occurs when you have a blocked artery. A hemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures or leaks. Both inhibit blood flow to the brain, which deprives brain cells of oxygen and can result in permanent damage.
  4. Know the four steps to respond to a possible stroke and act F.A.S.T.! Learn to recognize the signs of a stroke and get treatment quickly for better outcomes. Look for drooping in the face, weakness in the arm and difficulty speaking. Call 911 for help.
  5. The Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Mobile Stroke Unit operates 365 days a year. When a 911 caller reports stroke-like symptoms, the Mobile Stroke Unit can respond for on-site evaluation and treatment, saving valuable time. The unit serves patients in the following communities: Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Roselle, West Chicago, Wheaton, Winfield, Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, North Aurora, Elburn, Fox River Countryside and Fermilab.
  6. Two million brain cells are at risk every minute. When it comes to treatment, minutes matter. For each minute that passes, you risk more damage. Patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms often have less disability three months after a stroke than those whose care was delayed.
  7. It’s the No. 1 leading cause of serious long-term disability. The types of disabilities that may occur from stroke depend on the area of the brain impacted. For example, one-sided paralysis and communication disabilities are possible. Rehabilitation can be used to help improve quality of life.

You can take steps to prevent stroke. Learn more about stroke care and recovery.