Blood Pressure : 5 Signs of a Stroke

John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune, Minn.

-Can you identify the five major signs or symptoms of stroke?

You're up on strokes if you came up with the following:

--Sudden confusion or trouble speaking

--Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side

--Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

--Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance

--Sudden severe headache with no known cause

In a news release, the Minnesota Department of Health said 45 percent of Minnesotans don't know those signs. The health department finds that troubling, because stroke is the third-leading cause of death in Minnesota, with 2,154 deaths reported in 2010. More than 75,000 Minnesotans, or 1.9 percent of adults, reported having had a stroke in their lifetimes.

Time is crucial in controlling damage from a stroke, which is why it's important to know the signs and call 911 at the first sign of symptoms, said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, state health commissioner.

To help raise awareness about strokes, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed May to be Stroke Awareness Month, the news release said.

More information about stroke and its risk factors is available at www.health.state.mn.us/cvh.

©2012 the Duluth News Tribune (Duluth, Minn.)

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