Here’s How to Tell If You Are At Risk for a Stroke

Doctor reviewing CT scan.
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Strokes don’t just happen to older people. In 2009, the latest figures a available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 percent of people hospitalized for stroke were less than 65 years old.

You are at risk for stroke if you have:

  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Diabetes.


  • If you smoke.
  • If you are obese.

Stroke risk is also almost twice as high for blacks than for whites.

Signs and symptoms of a stroke are well-known: sudden weakness, numbness, speech difficulty, vision loss or severe headache. To recognize a stroke, think FAST:

F: Face (facial weakness or drooping on one side).

A: Arm weakness.

S: Speech, either slurring or difficulty speaking.

T: Time. “Make note of the time symptoms started and call 9-1-1 immediately,” says Dr. Amre Nouh, director of the Stroke Center at Hartford Hospital.

A stroke study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January showed that some ischemic stroke patients recovered significantly better after a CT scan with dye revealing damaged tissue, followed by clot removal and medical therapy than patients treated conventionally with medical therapy only administered within 16 hours of a stroke. This followed another stroke study, DAWN, that extends the window of stroke treatment to 24 hours.

For more information on the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Stroke Center, click here

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