Did you know that about 800,000 people experience a stroke every year in the US? A stroke occurs when the blood to the brain is blocked (transient ischemic attack) or when a blood vessel in or near the brain ruptures (hemorrhagic stroke). When a stroke occurs, your brain doesn’t get the nutrients and oxygen it needs to survive. In 2008, sadly, “more than 133,000 Americans died from stroke.” 
The good news is: you can decrease your chances of developing a stroke by about 80%, according to the American Stroke Association.  One of the best ways to decrease your chances of stroke is to treat high blood pressure. By working with your doctor here at Horizon Family Medical Group, you can develop a plan to bring your blood pressure down to safe levels.
Knowing and recognizing the warning signs of a stroke can help you to act F.A.S.T. Per the National Stroke Association,  here’s what to do:
- Fast: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
- Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
- Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
- Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/stroke/stroke_awareness_month.htm
- American Stroke Association: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/AmericanStrokeMonth/American-Stroke-Month_UCM_459942_SubHomePage.jsp#
- National Stroke Association: http://www.stroke.org/