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Keep Brain Awareness Week at the top of your mind. Stroke is our nation's third leading cause of death, killing nearly 160,000 Americans every year (National Stroke Association).

What to know more about stroke? Visit the National Stroke Association Web site.

* Stroke/Brain Attack Information
* Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke
* Stroke Risk Factors
* Sentara Neurosciences Network
* Society for Neuroscience
* Related Web Sites

What about stroke in Hampton Roads? We're located in the "Stroke Belt." What does that mean for you?

A stroke, also known as a "brain attack," happens when brain cells die because of inadequate blood flow. Effects of a stroke are often permanent because dead brain cells are not replaced.

Why does living in Hampton Roads mean you could have a higher chance of having a stroke?
Hampton Roads is located in what is referred to as the "Stroke Belt." Made up of 12 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, the Stroke Belt has death rates consistently more than 10 percent higher than the rest of the country.

What states are in the Stroke Belt?
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Washington, D.C.

There are a variety of theories as to why these states have a higher risk of stroke. The high incidence could be attributed to a number of factors, including a higher than average population of African-Americans, a higher than average population of older adults and dietary factors.

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