I want to learn more about Stroke risk reduction
I have atrial fibrillation (AFib) and want to learn more about stroke risk reduction
I have high blood pressure and want to learn more about stroke risk reduction
I have high cholesterol and want to learn more about stroke risk reduction
I have diabetes and want to learn more about stroke risk reduction
I have had a stroke or TIA ("mini-stroke") and want to reduce the risk of another stroke
Why is stroke risk reduction so important?
Learn more about strokes, stroke causes, whether you could be at risk of a stroke, and how to reduce your risk of stroke.
A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow to the brain. Without the oxygen and nutrients carried by the blood, brain cells begin to die. The longer blood flow is interrupted, the greater the risk of permanent brain damage and death.
There are two common types of stroke:
Depending on the part of the brain affected, strokes can affect your vision, mobility, thoughts, memory, and speech. See "How could a stroke affect my health and lifestyle?" to learn more.
Some people may have a "mini-stroke," also called a TIA (transient ischemic attack). With a TIA, the blood flow to the brain is temporarily blocked. A TIA causes the same symptoms as a stroke, but the symptoms usually disappear within 24 hours. However, a TIA is still very serious because it could still cause brain damage, and because it is a warning that you are at risk of a stroke.
Every 10 minutes on average, a Canadian has a stroke. Could you be next?
There are many things that increase your risk of a stroke (called stroke risk factors).
Some are things you can't control:
Fortunately, there are also many things you may be able to control:
Some people may have other risk factors not listed here.
A stroke happens when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted, usually in one of two ways:
1. A blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain.
This is called an ischemic stroke.
The blood clot may get into the brain by:
2. Blood vessels burst in the brain.
This is called a hemorrhagic stroke. Blood leaking into the brain and the interruption in blood flow both damage the brain.
Stroke warning signs
Learn to recognize the warning signs of stroke. If you see them, respond immediately by calling 9-1-1 or your local emergency number. It can significantly improve survival and recovery.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number immediately.
© Reproduced with the permission of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, 2011.
Print the stroke warning signs and put them on your fridge or in your wallet.
This list includes common stroke warning signs but is not a complete list of all possible warning signs. Some people may have additional warning signs not listed above.
The effects of a stroke vary from person to person: some people die, others recover completely, but many have effects that could last a lifetime.
Here's what could happen to you after a stroke:
A stroke can affect many different parts of your life, depending on the areas of the brain that were damaged:
Some of these problems may improve over time. Stroke rehabilitation can help people regain some of the function they have lost and live life to the fullest.
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