Reducing Stroke Risk
Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States. It is also a major cause of adult disability. On average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes, and more than 800,000 people in the United States suffer from stroke each year. Stroke is a serious medical condition that if left untreated can result in major disability or death in a worst-case scenario. That’s why it is important to understand the different symptoms of stroke and how they manifest themselves, as well as which risk factors increase your risk of stroke. If you ever suspect that you or someone around you is suffering from stroke, don’t hesitate to contact your local emergency number. In the following article we’ll cover some of the basic questions relating to stroke and its risk factors.
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Stroke is the third largest cause of death for women, while it is only the fifth leading cause of death for men. Because women have a longer life expectancy than men on average, stroke has a larger chance of affecting them at some point during their lifetime. Moreover, factors such as birth control, being pregnant, as well as frequent headaches cause the overall risk of stroke to be higher in women than men. That’s why it’s important, as a female, to take extra precautions to reduce your risk of stroke.
Many simple steps can be taken to reduce and possibly even prevent you from having to suffer from a stroke. Losing weight is one of the most important changes you can make that can significantly improve your health and reduce your chance of stroke. If you smoke, it’s wise to stop doing so. Not only can smoking increase your chance of stroke, it also reduces your overall quality of life. Lastly, control your blood pressure to prevent stroke. High blood pressure is a factor that can double or even triple your chance of stroke.
Diet and nutrition are very important factors for having a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Similarly, they have greatly reduce your chances of suffering from stroke. The American Heart Association recommends a diet consisting of five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Likewise, choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods to improve your overall health.
There are different factors that can influence your general risk of stroke. Some of them are risk factors that can’t be change, such as age. Those over 55 are the most likely to experience a stroke. Another such risk is ethnicity. If you are of South Asian or black African descent, you are statistically more likely to suffer from stroke. Luckily, there are other factors that can be changed, such as lifestyle choices and maintaining other medical conditions like blood pressure under control. If you are affected by any of these factors, contact your doctor.
If you think you’re having a stroke, check for the F.A.S.T (face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty, time to call) symptoms. Face drooping is the first sign to look for. Does one side of your face droop or feel numb? Also look to see if you have difficulty smiling symmetrically. Another symptom is arm weakness: is one arm weak or numb? Look for difficulty in raising the arm. The third symptom to lookout for is speech difficulty: is it hard to speak or to understand what someone says? If all or any of the aforementioned symptoms are present, it’s time to call your local emergency number.