What Is a Stroke?
Each year in the United States, about 700,000 people have a stroke, and over 150,000 of these people die as a result. But what is a stroke, exactly? This sudden episode occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, spilling blood into the spaces surrounding brain cells.
Strokes often cause numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), trouble speaking, and loss of balance or coordination. Your risk goes up the older you get. Other things that increase your risk include smoking, having a family history of stroke, and having high blood pressure.
(Click Stroke for more details on what a stroke is, the effects it can cause in the body, and how you may be able to reduce your risk.)