American Heart Association (AHA, is highlighting May as National Stroke Awareness month. Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke is a leading cause of death and serious disability nationwide and around the world. But it doesn’t have to be.

With May being National Stroke Awareness month, it’s important to know that stroke is 80% preventable.

A stroke is when blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Blood carries oxygen to cells in the body. When brain cells are starved of blood, they die. Stroke is a medical emergency. It’s important to get care as soon as possible.

Time lost is brain lost. Learn the FAST warning signs: F – Face Drooping, A – Arm Weakness, S – Speech Difficulty, T – Time to call 911.

Healthy lifestyle choices, eating foods low in saturated fats and trans fats, limiting salt, getting exercise, quitting smoking, avoiding drinking alcohol and regularly going to the doctor can all help prevent a stroke.

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, they fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. For more information, visit or call 1-800-AHA-USA1.