On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and every 4 minutes someone dies from one, according to the National Institutes of Health. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. and causes more long-term disabilities than any other disease. The older you are, the more likely you are to have a stroke, as the risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after age 55.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of your brain is interrupted or reduced, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. It's important to recognize the warning signs of stroke because prompt treatment is crucial to minimize brain damage and potential complications. To recognize the signs of stroke, remember the acronym FAST: face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, and time to call 911.