Be Stroke Smart

Be Stroke Smart

Educating yourself about stroke can be life-changing.

Stroke is a brain attack. It occurs when blood vessels in the brain, called arteries, are blocked or burst. The consequences of stroke can be long-term disability and even death. That's why it's important to act immediately the moment you suspect stroke.

Know the Signs of Stroke

Just remember: B.E. F.A.S.T.* It could save a life.


Suddenly losing balance


Losing vision in one or both eyes


Is part of the face drooping?


Raise both arms. Is one lower than the other?


Does the person have slurred speech?


Every second counts.


If you notice the symptoms above in you or someone else, call 911. Waiting to see if symptoms go away is not an option. 

Risk Factors for Stroke

Stroke can happen to anyone at any time. There are a number of risk factors for stroke—some that you can manage and some that are out of your control. 

Risk factors that cannot be changed

  • Age: Stroke can occur at any age; 1 out of 5 people who have a stroke are under 55 and your chance of stroke increases as you get older.
  • Race: African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders have a higher risk of stroke than people of other races.
  • Gender: More women have stroke than men, and more women die from stroke than from breast cancer every year.
  • Family history: You are at greater risk if a family member has had a stroke.

Manageable risk factors

  • High blood pressure 
  • Atrial fibrillation 
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation
  • Lack of physical activity 
  • Obesity

Knowing your risk for stroke can help you avoid it. 

Source: Genentech USA, Inc.

*BE FAST was developed by Intermountain Healthcare as an adaptation of the FAST model implemented by the American Stroke Association. Reproduced with permission from Intermountain Healthcare. © 2011 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved.