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Stroke Risk Factors

 

Stroke occurs when normal oxygen carrying blood is prevented from reaching a certain area of the brain, and without oxygen that part of the brain dies.  Many different disease processes can contribute to this blockage; some we can alter called modifiable risk factors and others we cannot which are called non-modifiable stroke risk factors.

 

Non-modifiable risk factors:            Common modifiable risk factors:

Age                                                      High blood pressure

Heredity                                               Atrial fibrillation

Gender                                                High cholesterol

                                                            Heart disease

                                                            Cartoid/Artery Disease                                                 

                                                            Diabetes

                                                            Cigarette smoking

                                                            Obesity

                                                            Physical inactivity

                                                            Poor diet / Nutrition

                                                            Alcohol abuse                       

                                                            Drug abuse           

                                                            Postmenopausal Hormone Replacement Therapy

 

 

Signs & Symptoms of a Stroke - When to call 911

 

Strokes strike suddenly and it is important to identify the time it occurs.  Symptoms may vary, but often include sudden one-sided weakness or numbness with or without loss of language or its meaning. A good way to remember these points is ‘Sudden FAST’.

 

SUDDEN  FAST -  F  sudden onset of Face weakness

                              A  sudden onset of Arm or leg weakness

                              S  sudden onset of Speech loss, slurring or no understanding of speech

                              T Time patient last at normal function

 

The signs of a stroke depend on the side and part of the brain that’s affected, and how severely the brain is injured. Each person may have different stroke warning signs.

 

If you or someone you know is having these signs, call 911 and seek medical help immediately. Stroke is a medical emergency. Treatment is available, but only if a stroke is recognized in time. Paramedics will try to take the patient to the nearest available Stroke Center.  Even if the symptoms pass quickly, they could be an important warning that requires prompt medical attention.