why is it important to know my risk for stroke?
knowing your risk is the key to stroke prevention. There are steps you can take to reduce your risk of stroke, Including having regular checkups. Risk factors fall into three broad catagories: 1) Those that you can modify with your Doctors help; 2) Those that you can modify with your Doctors helpby changing your lifestyles 3)Those you can't control.
What are the risk factors I can treat?
- High Blood Pressure. This is the single most important, risk factor for strokes. Know your blood pressure and have it checked at least once every two years.If it's high (140/90 or above), speak with your Doctor about treatment.
- Diabetes Mellitus. while diabetes is treatable, having it increases a persons risk for stroke. Work with your Doctors to manage your diabetes and reduce other risk factors.
- Heart Disease. People with heart disease have a higher risk for stroke.Atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat) is a significant risk factor for stroke.
- TIAs. Transient ischemic attacks(TIAs) are "mini strokes" that produce stroke-like symptoms but have no lasting effect. Recognizing and treating TIAs can reduce this of major stroke. Know the warning signs of TIAs and seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
- Carotid Artery Disease. The carotid artery in your neck supplies your blood to your brain. A carotic artery damaged by a fatty buildup of plague in the artery wall may become blocked by a blood clot, which may result in a stroke.
What are the risk factors I can modify by making lifestyle changes?
- Tobacco use. Don't smoke cigarettes or use any form of tobaccco.
- Physical inactivity and obesity. Being inactive, obese or both can increase your risk of cardovascular disease.
- Excessive alcohol Intake. Drinking an average of one drink per day for women or drinking more then two drinks a day for men raises the blood pressure. Binge drinking can lead to a stroke.
- Illegal drug use. Intravenous drug abuse carries a high risk of stroke. Cocaine use has also been linked to stroke.
what are the risk factors I can't control?
- Increasing age.Stroke affects all ages. The older you are, the greater your stroke risk.
- Male sex. Men are at higher risk for stroke when compare to women.
- Heredity and race. The risk of stroke is greater in people whose close blood relatives have had a stroke. African Americans have a higher risk of death and disability from a stroke than whites, because they have a greater incidence of high blood pressure. Hispanic Americans are also at higher risk of stroke.
- Prior stroke. Someone who has had a stroke is at higher risk of having another one.
How can I learn more?
- Talk to your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professionals. Ask about other stroke topocs as well.
- For stroke information, call the American Stroke Association at 1-888-4-STROKE or visit online www.StrokeAssociation.org (American Stroke Association)