According to the CDC, every 40 seconds someone suffers from a stroke in the United States. Unfortunately, nearly every four seconds, someone also dies from one.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, causing parts of the body to rapidly weaken and/or stop functioning.
At CTVS, stroke awareness and prevention is an important mission for us, as we want all of our patients and families to avoid this potentially life-threatening situation at all costs.
There are some risk factors you may not be able to control, such as a family history of stroke or heart disease, or if you were born with a congenital heart defect.
However, there are some factors you can control, which will help minimize your risk.
What risk factors can I control to help prevent me from having a stroke?
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), or heart arrhythmia
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Carotid Artery Disease, or a narrowing of arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain
Minimizing your stroke potential from these risk factors can be improved by:
- Following a heart healthy diet that is low in fats and high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber
- Stopping smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Staying physically active and aiming to get at least 20 minutes of exercise per day
- Taking medications to help control blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar (for diabetes) as directed by your regular physician or endocrinologist
To determine your personal risk for stroke, take this short assessment quiz created by the American Heart Association.