Health Matters

Stroke: Know Your Risk and Think FAST

Nearly every 40 seconds, someone in America suffers a stroke. And about one of every 18 deaths in our country is due to a stroke. Those who survive a stroke often face life-changing after effects. 
 
A stroke often occurs without warning. It happens when blood flow to the brain is disrupted, either by a blood clot or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Acting fast when stroke strikes can make a big difference in a person’s chance for survival and recovery.
woman with headache
 
Neurologist Dr. Curtis Benesch says it’s important to stay healthy, eat well, exercise, and know the signs of a stroke so you can get help quickly if symptoms occur.
 
He offers these tips for recognizing a stroke and taking steps to lower your risk of having one.
 
Think FAST—This simple acronym can help you remember signs of a stroke:
  • Face: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • Arm: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?  
  • Speech: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • Time: If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.
 
Anyone can have a stroke, no matter their age, race or gender. You are at greater risk for stroke if you have any of these factors:
  • high blood pressure, 
  • high cholesterol, 
  • diabetes, 
  • circulation disorders or heart disease,
  • a family history of strokes. 
 
The good news is that you can reduce your risk of stroke by: 
  • knowing your numbers, both your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels, 
  • avoiding heavy alcohol use, 
  • not smoking,
  • maintaining a healthy weight.
 
Even better news is that most strokes can be prevented, and the best way to protect yourself is to understand your personal risk and how to manage it.
 
 
Curtis Benesch, MD
 
 
Curtis Benesch, M.D., M.P.H., is a vascular neurologist and medical director of the URMC Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center. He and neurosurgeon Babak Jahromi, M.D., Ph.D., also lead the community-wide stroke collaborative called STAR Stroke Treatment Alliance of Rochester which is dedicated to improving stroke care and education. 
 
 
 
 
Lori Barrette | 9/16/2013 | 5 comments

Comments

Comments
Timothy Howland
Thanks
3/25/2014 6:45:28 PM
 
Josephine E Dolan
thank you
11/1/2013 7:39:50 PM
 
Josephine E Dolan
thank you for sending the info. about Stroke.
11/1/2013 7:34:53 PM
 
Health Matters
Good question! Our stroke experts say lifestyle changes that may help include: boosting the number of fruits and vegetables you eat every day, choosing meals that are low in saturated fats, and committing to exercise at least 30 minutes, three times each week. However, it is best to consult your primary care physician before you begin any exercise regimen or if you have specific questions about your diet.
10/31/2013 1:19:36 PM
 
Maxine Broan
Carotid artery has some blockage. I am taking Atenolol and generic Lipitor. What about diet other than low fat??
10/31/2013 12:00:12 PM
 
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About The Blog


 

Welcome to Health Matters, a blog aimed at keeping you and your family healthy. We offer advice from URMC experts on timely topics, as well as insight into breaking news and medical research. Visit us weekly for updates and invite your family and friends to check us out. If you have a topic you’d like to see us cover, please send a note to Lori Barrette.

Though health advice offered here is provided by experts, there is no substitute for the personal care your own provider can offer. If you have medical questions or concerns, please contact your physician.


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