According to the National Stroke Association 50% of African-Americans will die from stroke or heart disease. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in African-American women states a recent article from Black Women’s Health. Also, African-Americans have strokes more often than any other racial or cultural group.
The reason for our increased chance of stroke is due to several factors including:
- A higher rate of high blood pressure in African-Americans, which is the leading indicator for stroke.
- The high rates of Diabetes in African-Americans, which can increase strokes.
- An increased rate of sickle cell anemia among African-Americans, which can cause a stroke if a sickle shaped cell blocks a blood vessel to the brain.
As a community, African-Americans can decrease these grim statistics. It begins with awareness, prevention and understanding the symptoms of stroke and then telling somebody what you now know about stroke, so they can pass on the information to others.
What is a Stroke?
A stroke occurs when part of the brain doesn’t get the blood it needs. Then, brain cells die. There are two types of stroke and then there is something called a mini stroke (medically this is called a Transient Ischemic Attach or T.I.A).
- An ischemic stroke happens when blood is blocked from getting to the brain.
- A hemorrhagic stroke happens when a blood vessel in the brain bursts, and blood bleeds into the brain.
- A “mini-stroke.” happens when, for a short time, less blood than normal gets to the brain. You may have some signs of a full stroke, or you may not notice any signs at all. But it only lasts a few minutes up to 24 hours. Then you’re back to normal. Many people don’t even know they’ve had it. However, a “mini-stroke” is a sign of a full stroke to come, so it’s important to know the signs of a stroke.
What are Stroke Symptoms?
Symptoms of stroke include:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg – usually on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, call 911 or call your doctor immediately.
What to do if having a Stroke?
Call 911. Stroke is a medical emergency so you need to act fast. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. The sooner action is taken to help the better the outcome for a good recovery.
Strokes are serious. Find out How to Prevent a Stoke by clicking here for more information.