Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. And it’s not just the elderly who are affected. Over the past decade, there has been a 44 percent increase in the number young people hospitalized from a stroke. That's why it's important for people to know their risk factors.

No matter your age, you will receive fast, expert care at University of Missouri Health Care. As a certified Level I Comprehensive Stroke Center, we offer the most advanced care in central Missouri. With the region's only dedicated stroke neurologist and fellowship-trained neuro-interventionalists on site, MU Health Care has assembled a multidisciplinary stroke team to provide care to our patients from acute stroke presentation to rehabilitation.

Know Your Risks

Although a stroke can happen to anyone, a number of factors can increase your chance of suffering from a stroke:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease or artery disease
  • Certain blood disorders
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity or obesity
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Drug use and abuse

The good news is that you can make some lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of stroke and improve your overall health:

  • Treat health problems that could increase your risk of stroke.
  • If your doctor recommends taking aspirin or a blood thinner, take it.
  • Take your medicine exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
    • Don't smoke or allow others to smoke around you.
    • Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.
    • Stay at a healthy weight. Being overweight makes it more likely you will develop high blood pressure, heart problems, and diabetes. These conditions make a stroke more likely.
    • Be active. Ask your doctor what type and level of activity is safe for you. If you are in a stroke rehab program, your rehab team can make an exercise program that is right for you.
    • Eat heart-healthy foods. These include fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, fish, and foods that are low in sodium, saturated fat, and trans fat.

Know the Signs

When a stroke happens, every minute counts. A stroke stops precious oxygen from reaching your brain, causing brain cells to die immediately. The sooner you get care, the better chance of recovery. By knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke, you can act F.A.S.T. and possibly save a life.

Stroke FAST

Leading stroke treatment

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel leading to the brain bursts (hemorrhagic stroke) or is blocked by a blood clot (ischemic stroke). Your treatment will depend on your condition and the type of stroke you have, but the goal is to restore blood flow to your brain as quickly as possible. 

As an academic health center, our neurosciences doctors are also researchers and educators who train the next generation of doctors. That means our specialists are at the forefront of medical breakthroughs. You benefit from all the resources and expertise throughout the MU Health Care system, including promising new treatments available through clinical trials.

Our stroke care experts continue to look for new ways to prevent and treat stroke. When new therapies are discovered, you can find them right here.

Learn how we diagnose and treat stroke.