Bill York is a Gwinnett County retiree with a life most seniors would envy. At 86, he was still living a full life of sports, writing and travel. It almost came to an end Jan. 4, when he suffered a stroke. He was talking to his wife one moment; the next, gibberish came out of his mouth as he tried to finish his thought.
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Stroke by the numbers*
Strokes kill almost 130,000 Americans each year. That is one in every 19 deaths.
On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes.
The country’s highest death rate due to stroke is in the Southeast.
Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes. One in four are recurrent strokes.
The risk varies with race. African-Americans’ risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice that of whites. Hispanic Americans’ risk falls between that of whites and African-Americans. Moreover, African-Americans are more likely to die after a stroke than are whites.
Ischemic strokes (about 87 percent of all strokes) happen when blood clots block the blood vessels to the brain.
Stroke costs the United States an estimated $38.6 billion yearly in health care, medications and missed work.
Patients who arrive at the emergency room within three hours of their first symptoms tend to be healthier three months after a stroke than those whose care was delayed.
In a 2005 survey, most respondents — 93% — recognized sudden numbness on one side as a symptom of stroke. Only 38% were aware of all major symptoms and knew to call 911 when someone was having a stroke.
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg—especially 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.
*source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention