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Find our your risk for heart attack or strokeKnowing your stroke risk factors and making positive changes to your lifestyle habits can greatly reduce your risk of stroke. But even the best stroke prevention methods are not always successful. Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States and the number one cause of adult long-term disability. When a stroke strikes, the shorter the time between its onset and initial stroke treatment can mean a significant difference in the patient's outcome.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke

Even if you are practicing stroke prevention guidelines, you should always know the warning signs of a stroke. Here are the common symptoms:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg - especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause
There is a FAST way to recognize and respond to the warning signs of a stroke:

A crooked, drooping or numb face are signs of a stroke.

 

Is one arm experiencing weakness or numbness?

 

Signs of a stroke may include unintelligible speech or a person’s inability to understand your speech.

 

In the event of a stroke warning sign, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Face
Ask the person to smile. Is one side of their face crooked or drooping? Does their face feel numb?
 Arms
Ask the person to raise both arms. Is the person unable to elevate one arm? Does one arm have a tendency to drift downward? Is one arm weak or numb?
 Speech
Ask the person to speak. Are their words unintelligible or slurred? Does the person have trouble understanding you?
 Time
In the event of a stroke every second counts to avoid the risk of brain damage. If you observe any of the symptoms listed above, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance immediately.

 

Reduce Your Risk with Stroke Prevention Guidelines

According to the National Stroke Association, some risks can't be avoided.

The risk of having a stroke increases after age 55.

 

Men are at greater risk for having a stroke.

 

Ethnicity and heredity can put you at higher risk for having a stroke.

 

Prior heart problems increase your chances of having a stroke.

Age
The chance of having a stroke nearly doubles for each decade of life after age 55.
 Gender
Stroke is more common in men than women.
 Ethnicity and Heredity
African-Americans and those with relatives who have suffered from stroke are at higher risk.
 
Prior Stroke, TIA or Heart Attack
Medical issues that compromise the heart and arteries will put you at greater risk.
Talk to your physician about lifestyle changes that can lessen your risk for stroke.

Smoking increases your risk of having a stroke.

 

A healthy heart can lessen your chances of having a stroke.

 

Managing your diabetes will help reduce your risk of stroke.

Stop Smoking
Tobacco use doubles your risk of stroke
 Prevent Heart Disease
Reduce your cholesterol, especially if it is reaching 240 mg or higher. Watch your blood pressure; 140/90 or higher puts you at greater risk. Exercise, diet and stress management can reverse these numbers.
 Manage Diabetes
Diabetes causes faster plaque buildup in arteries. Watch your diet, take your medications and exercise regularly.

Take our Stroke and Heart Attack Risk Assessment.

OhioHealth's McConnell Heart Health Center and Grant Health and Fitness Center are staffed with certified exercise physiologists and nutritionists who can help get you on track for stroke prevention and good health.

Call these Centers to schedule a tour and find out how you can practice stroke prevention by setting up a health and exercise program for you and your family.

Neuroscience Center Michael J. Fox