SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help raise awareness of the dangers associated with strokes, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is urging residents to know the warning signs of strokes and take preventative measures as part of National Stroke Awareness Month.                                          

“Strokes are most common among people over the age of 65, but they can strike anyone at any age,” Beiser said. “Every moment is critical when responding to a stroke, so I encourage local residents to familiarize themselves with the warning signs and symptoms so they can get immediate help for themselves or a loved one.”    

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A stroke is the result of a broken or clogged blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain. Without oxygen, parts of the brain shut down, leading to disability or death. According to the American Stroke Association, about 795,000 people have a stroke every year, killing 129,000. The prevalence of strokes is expected to rise by 20 percent between 2012 and 2014. 

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Risk factors of strokes include high blood pressure, inactivity and smoking. Symptoms of a stroke include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, or limbs, sudden trouble speaking or understanding and sudden blurred vision or dizziness. To help avoid a stroke, especially for those with a family history of strokes, get daily exercise, eat a healthy diet, talk with your doctor about high blood pressure treatment and do not smoke. 

“Strokes can be preventable. It’s important everyone take steps now to decrease their likelihood of experiencing a stroke,” Beiser said. “This month of observation can be used to think about ways people can improve their health and decrease their chances of a stroke.”   

For more information, please visit www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/.

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