Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T.

HEALTH & BODY: In the 1950s, my dad was known as “Mr. Speech.” For almost 50 years, he was a professor of Communications and Theatre Arts but for the last few months of his life he couldn’t speak. He had a series of mini-strokes while he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Do you know how to spot a stroke? Would you know what to do if someone was having a stroke? Consider these statistics:

* Stroke is the nation’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of long-term disability.
* On average, someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds, and every 4 minutes someone dies from one.
* African-Americans have almost twice the risk of a firstever stroke as whites, and African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to die after a stroke, compared to whites.
* Each year, nearly 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.

The good news is stroke is preventable, treatable and beatable. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption, regular exercise, healthy diet, and maintenance of low body mass index (BMI), is associated with a significantly lower risk of ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke. Find out more and get the Free F.A.S.T. App on the American Stroke Association site.

Contributed by Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Ph.D., MBA.

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