EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – May is National Stroke Awareness Month and health providers are especially urging women not to ignore the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

According to one doctor with Mayo Clinic Health System, one in five women between the ages of 55 and 75 will have a stroke. Strokes are the 5th leading cause of death for women, and some key risk factors include age, high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes.

The acronym health care professionals say people should be aware of is F.A.S.T. “Think about the acronym FAST, and that stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time. So watching for a droopy face, watching for arm weakness speech, you know, like slurred speech or difficulty coming up with words or understanding instructions. And then time is the last letter of the acronym. And time… time is brain. That’s what we say. So once you spot stroke symptoms, do not hesitate to call 911 and present to the nearest emergency department,” Dr. Bayan Moustafa, Mayo Clinic Health System Neurologist, said.

Additional information about the signs and symptoms of a stroke can be found on the American Stroke Association website, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.