Stroke Awareness

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Statistics to know about strokes:

Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.

Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. Each year, approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke.

About 600,000 of these are first attacks, and 185,000 are recurrent attacks. Nearly three-quarters of all strokes occur in people over the age of 65.

The risk of having a stroke more than doubles each decade after the age of 55.

Strokes can & do occur at ANY age. Nearly one fourth of strokes occur in people under the age of 65.

Stroke death rates are higher for African-Americans than for whites, even at younger ages.

On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.

Stroke accounted for about one of every 17 deaths in the United States in 2006. Stroke mortality for 2005 was 137,000.

From 1995–2005, the stroke death rate fell ~30 percent and the actual number of stroke deaths declined ~14 percent.

What is a Stroke?

A Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.  A stroke occurs when a blood vessel which carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so this in the end causes brain cells to die.

There is a stroke noted as a mini stroke which is a transient (temporary) ischemic attack= TIA. This is different than the strokes listed below in that the symptoms the patient has are completely reversible (like in angina for the heart the symptoms are completely reversible, just a different organ. The organs are both having these symptoms due to lack of 02 called ischemia).

There are 2 types of strokes:

Ischemic Stroke which are strokes that occur through an obstruction of blood flow by a clot called a thrombus.

Hemorrhagic stroke by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain.

What puts you at risk for a stroke?

Non modiafiable risks meaning you can’t change them are:

-Age.  Stroke occurs in all age groups.  Studies show the risk of stroke doubles for each decade between the ages of 55 and 85.  But strokes also can occur in childhood or adolescence.  Although stroke is often considered a disease of aging, the risk of stroke in childhood is actually highest during the perinatal period, which encompasses the last few months of fetal life and the first few weeks after birth.

Gender.  Men have a higher risk for stroke, but more women die from stroke.  Men generally do not live as long as women, so men are usually younger when they have their strokes and therefore have a higher rate of survival.

Race.  People from certain ethnic groups have a higher risk of stroke.  For African Americans, stroke is more common and more deadly—even in young and middle-aged adults—than for any ethnic or other racial group in the United States.  Studies show that the age-adjusted incidence of stroke is about twice as high in African Americans and Hispanic Americans as in Caucasians.  An important risk factor for African-Americans is sickle cell disease, which can cause a narrowing of arteries and disrupt blood flow. The incidence of the various stroke subtypes also varies considerably in different ethnic groups.

-Family history of stroke.  Stroke seems to run in some families.  Several factors may contribute to familial stroke.  Members of a family might have a genetic tendency for stroke risk factors, such as an inherited predisposition for high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes.  The influence of a common lifestyle among family members also could contribute to familial stroke.

Modiafiable Risk Factors meaning you CAN change them:

-High Blood Pressure (hypertension) RX: DIET & EXERCISE & MEDS that a MD would decide.

-High Cholesterol. RX: DIET and if necessary MEDS that a MD would decide.

-Diabetes Mellitus. RX: DIET & EXERCISE & MEDS that a MD would decide.

-Cigarette Smoking. RX: QUIT

-Carotid Artery Disease. RX: DIET & EXERCISE & MEDS  even possible SURGERY that a MD would decide.

-Atrial Fibrillation. RX: DIET & EXERCISE & MEDS even possible SURGERY that a MD would decide.

-Unhealthy Diet. RX: DIET

-Physical Inactivity and Obesity. RX: DIET & EXERCISE & possibly even MEDS that a MD would decide.

Go to your DOCTOR before doing any program and let your MD tell you what type of a program would be best for you especially if you are diagnosed with disease (EX. Diabetes, Cardiac, etc…).

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