A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures, causing brain tissue to die. A stroke often starts as a sudden feeling of numbness or weakness on half of the body.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is a major cause of adult disability.1,2 About 800,000 people in the United States have a stroke each year.2 One American dies from a stroke every 4 minutes, on average.2 Get more quick facts about stroke.
Stroke is a medical emergency. Know the signs and symptoms of stroke, and call 9-1-1 right away if you think someone might be having a stroke. Getting fast treatment is important to preventing death and disability from stroke.
You may be able to prevent stroke or reduce your risk through healthy lifestyle changes. In addition, medication can reduce stroke risk for some people.