Health + Behavior

UCLA Stroke Center Joins the National Stroke Association in Highlighting Stroke Awareness Month in May

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What health condition kills twiceas many women each year as breast cancer? Stroke. What health condition is 80 percentpreventable? Stroke.

May is National Stroke AwarenessMonth, intended to educate the nation and spread awareness about stroke prevention,symptom recognition and recovery.

This year's campaign, "Women inYour Life," focuses on educating women, who are uniquely affected by stroke:

       Stroke will kill more than 100,000 women thisyear, more than twice as many as breast cancer.

       More women than men will die from stroke.

       One-half of all African American women will diefrom stroke or heart disease.

       Women outnumber men as caregivers to strokesurvivors.

       Four out of five American families will betouched by stroke.

Many strokes are 80 percent preventable, yet more than750,000 Americans suffer strokes each year. There are many steps you can taketo help prevent a stroke, including maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Stroke prevention guidelines include keeping your bloodpressure and cholesterol levels under control, maintaining a healthy weight,eating a balanced diet, quitting smoking and drinking in moderation. Womenespecially are at higher risk of stroke if they are diabetic, pregnant,menopausal/on hormone replacement therapy, or have high blood pressure ormigraine headaches.

Strokedoes not just affect your grandmother. Women of all ages are at risk, and100,000 young and middle-aged women will suffer strokes this year. A NationalStroke Association poll found that one-third of women could not recognize even oneof the following stroke symptoms:

       Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm orleg, especially on one side of the body.

       Sudden confusion, trouble speaking orunderstanding.

       Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

       Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss ofbalance or coordination.

       Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Moststrokes can be treated. The FDA-approved treatment for ischemic (clot-caused)stroke is t-PA, a clot-busting drug that dissolves the blood clot and restoresblood flow to the brain. For the drug to work effectively, however, it must be givenwithin three hours of the first signs of stroke symptoms.

Womenneed to be aware of their stroke risk and have a strong knowledge of strokesymptoms to get the treatment they or their loved ones need F.A.S.T.:

F= FACE: Askthe person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms.Does one arm drift downward?

S = SPEECH: Have themrepeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T = TIME: If you observe any ofthese signs, it's time to call 911.

Recognized as one of the world's leadingcenters for the management of cerebral vascular disease, the UCLA Stroke Center treats simple andcomplex vascular disorders by incorporating recent developments in emergencymedicine, stroke neurology, microneurosurgery,interventional neuroradiology, stereotacticradiology, neurointensive care, neuroanesthesiology,and rehabilitation neurology. UCLA's stroke program is unique in itsability to integrate clinical and research activities across multipledisciplines and leading departments. A center without walls, the UCLA Stroke Center was founded in1994. For more information on the UCLA Stroke Centerand links to information about stroke signs and prevention, please visit www.stroke.ucla.edu.

-UCLA-

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