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May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 8:32 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - May marks National Stroke Awareness Month.

Dr. Richard Dalyai, vascular neurosurgeon and Surgical Director of Stroke Services at Vidant Health, says the likelihood of having a stroke is significantly higher in North Carolina than the rest of the country as a whole. In Eastern North Carolina, the severity of a stroke is even higher.

For example, 86 out of 100,000 people die of strokes across the country every year, but in Eastern North Carolina, it is even higher, with about 110 out of 100,000 dying each year.

Dr. Dalyai says high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a leading cause of stroke. Other causes include smoking and diets that are high in animal fat and cholesterol.

There are two main types of strokes: hemorrhagic and ischemic. Hemorrhagic strokes are caused by a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain. The blood accumulates and compresses the surrounding brain tissue. A ischemic stroke occurs when the a vessel supplying blood to the brain is obstructed. It accounts for about 87% of all strokes.

The acronym F.A.S.T. can help remind you what to look for:

F – Face drooping

A – Arm weakness

S – Speech slurred

T– Time to call 911

If you notice any sudden symptoms of stroke, call 911 immediately. Also, talk to your provider about scheduling a health screening or visit Vidant Health’s website to find a provider near you.

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