Even with eating well and exercising regularly, you can still be at risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol. Also, your family history and conditions like atrial fibrillation (Afib) can put you further at risk—through no fault of your own. Knowing how to identify a stroke, recognizing and responding quickly to a stroke all will help in reducing the impact of stroke.
One of the keys to prevention is identifying if you have any controllable and uncontrollable risk factors and beginning to manage them. Small steps make a difference.
1. More women have strokes
Each year, stroke kills twice as many women as breast cancer. Women don’t see themselves as at risk for stroke.
Getting regular check-ups and learning the women specific risk factors like experiencing migraines with aura effect and taking birth control can help reduce the risk for stroke.
“It’s important that women understand how to lower their risk for stroke,” says Matt Lopez, CEO, National Stroke Association. “Women need to be aware of the stroke warning signs and actively manage controllable risk factors.”
2. It’s not just for old people
A quarter of strokes occur in people younger than 65, and 1 in 10 strokes occur in people age 45 and younger—and those numbers are rising.
Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. Evaluate your stroke risk by using the Stroke Risk Scorecard from stroke.org. Take it with you to your next doctor’s visit and address any concerns.
3. There is hope after stroke
There are approximately 7 million stroke survivors across the U.S. fighting every day to come back strong. Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability and many are recovering from the physical and emotional post-stroke effects.