What would you say if we told you that the fourth leading cause of death in America is preventable about 80 percent of the time?
Not bad odds, eh?
this, stroke still kills about 130,000 people each year, and is a
leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. As with so many
critical health events, the best key to avoiding stroke is prevention.
National Stroke Association divides the risk factors for stroke into
two categories: Controllable and Uncontrollable. They are:
Controllable Risk Factors:
High Blood Pressure
Tobacco Use and Smoking
Uncontrollable Risk Factors:
Age: persons 55 and older are more at risk but stroke can happen to anyone at any time.
Gender: approximately 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year.
African Americans have almost twice the risk of first-ever stroke
compared with whites and Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders are
more likely than whites to have a stroke as well.
Previous Stroke or TIA
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO or Hole in the Heart)
As you can see, the controllable factors mostly boil down to making positive health choices, such as those outlined by the American Stroke Association, and treating existing medical conditions.
one of the factors listed as uncontrollable: a previous stroke or
transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is also one of the most certain
harbingers of an oncoming stroke and is something to which close
attention should be paid.
Up to 40 percent of all people who have
experienced a TIA – often referred to as a mini-stroke --will go on to
have an actual stroke. Furthermore, most studies show that nearly half
of all strokes occur within the first two days after a TIA.
risk factors for TIA are pretty much identical to the risk factors for
stroke, and, as with stroke, sometimes the symptoms occur so quickly
that people don’t even realize they’ve had one:
Someone having a TIA (or a stroke) may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
TIA, the symptoms usually last less than 24 hours before disappearing.
Still, while these mini-strokes generally do not cause permanent brain
damage, they are a serious warning sign of stroke and should not be
If you suspect that you or someone you are with is having
a TIA, you should call 9-1-1 immediately. Every moment counts, and the
faster a stroke or TIA victim is evaluated and treated, the better their
chance to avoid serious damage or future stroke.
Work with your
physician on an appropriate treatment plan for you. Generally speaking,
after a transient ischemic attack, the American Heart Association and
National Stroke Association offer these recommendations for preventing
is extremely serious and should be taken seriously. However, with
proper diagnosis and treatment, it may be just the warning sign you need
to prevent or limit the damage of future stroke.
information about the well-being of seniors, or to arrange for the
services of a trained CAREGiver for a senior in your life, please
contact Home Instead Senior Care of Central Oregon at 541-330-6400.
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