Can You Spot a Stroke?
Just 38 percent of people are aware of the major symptoms of stroke.1 Yet, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Learn how to identify a stroke as well as measures you can take against this critical illness.
The good news: Since 1960, stroke cases have decreased dramatically, causing stroke to fall from the third leading cause of death to the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. But, a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that stroke death rates are declining more slowly in recent years and, in some cases, stalling or reversing.2
What Causes Stroke?
Stroke occurs most commonly when blood flow to the brain is blocked because of a blood clot, and treatment involves busting or removing the clot. In fewer cases, stroke can be caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain and is treated by stopping the bleeding.3 Depending on how quickly a patient is treated, a stroke can result in serious damage to the brain and can lead to long-term disability, such as paralysis and loss of mobility.
What Are the Financial Effects of Stroke?
A stroke diagnosis can carry unexpected expenses that can be a burden on anyone’s financial situation. According to the CDC, stroke costs Americans an estimated $34 billion each year, which includes the cost of healthcare services, medicine and missed days of work.1 Stroke damage can also result in disabilities that range from mild to severe, and the care and rehabilitation for survivors and their families can be expensive and lengthy.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Knowing the symptoms of stroke and acting quickly in response is critical to increasing the chances of survival. If you or someone else is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, call emergency services right away:
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
- Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body)
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause
Making gradual lifestyle changes can help prevent against stroke. You can reduce your stroke risk by controlling high blood pressure, cutting out smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
As you take steps toward a healthier lifestyle, remember that a Platinum-marketed policy can help supplement your finances in case of a stroke diagnosis or other critical illness. If you or a loved one is diagnosed with stroke, you can receive a direct cash benefit to help offset out-of-pocket costs, such as emergency ambulatory transportation, hospital confinement, or drugs and medicine. This added financial security gives you peace of mind, so you can focus on recovery—not expenses.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of your Platinum-marketed policy, call our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team at 1-855-637-6550.
1Stroke Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved on June 27, 2018, from www.cdc.gov/stroke/facts.htm.
2 Vital Signs: Recent Trends in Stroke Death Rates—United States, 2000–2015. (Sept. 8, 2017). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6635e1.htm?s_cid=mm6635e1_e.
3Stroke Treatment. American Stroke Association. Retrieved on July 12, 2018, from https://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/Treatment/Stroke-Treatment_UCM_492017_SubHomePage.jsp.
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