Stroke survivor Kara hazen and Tania Cherette with the Heat Disease and Stroke Prevention Program with the Utah Department of Health talk about stroke and how to prevent it on Studio 5.
How does a stroke affect your body?
o When nerve cells don’t function, the part of the body they control can’t function either. The devastating effects of stroke are often permanent because brain cells can’t be replaced.2
Risk factors you can’t control:
o Increasing age: People over age 55 are at greater risk of a stroke. 1
o Gender: More men than women have strokes in certain age groups, but more women actually die from stroke. 1
o Race: African-Americans and Hispanics have a higher risk of death and disability from stroke. 1
o Heredity: A family history of stroke can increase your risk. 1
o Previous Stroke: History of a previous stroke may increase stroke risk by up to 10 times. 1
o Previous episode of Transient Ischemic Attack or TIA (“mini-stroke”). 1
o Heart Disease. 1
Risk factors you can control:
o High cholesterol 1
o High blood pressure (hypertension) 1
o Smoking 1
o Diabetes 1
o Physical Inactivity 1
o Overweight or Obesity1
Five signs of stroke
o Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg – especially on one side of the body. 2
o Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding. 2
o Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes. 2
o Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance, or coordination. 2
o Sudden severe headache with no known cause. 2
What should you do if you think you’re having a stroke?
o If you are experiencing even one of the signs of a stroke, call 911 immediately! 1
Why should anyone care about stroke?
o The difference between a nearly full recovery and a permanent disability can depend upon how fast someone responds to the signs of stroke. Timing is very important! An emergency medical doctor must treat you within three hours of the onset of the symptoms. 2
o Treatment is available for some types of stroke which is why it is important to call 9-1-1 immediately and get the person to the hospital as soon as possible. This will allow the doctors to determine the appropriate treatment.
o Strokes are largely preventable. Research has shown that you can take steps to prevent stroke by reducing your risk factors. 2
For more information call 1-866-88-STROKE or visit www.hearthighway.org
1. Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Program, 2007 www.hearthighway.org
2. American Stroke Association, Press Kit, 2008. Additional statistics available on www.americanheart.org/statistics