May is Stroke awareness month. A great time to learn your risk for the condition that is the leading cause of long term disability. Strokes occur every 40 seconds and take a life every four minutes. Consider a stroke like an attack on your brain. During a stroke vital blood flow and oxygen are withheld from the brain, causing brain cells to die. In order to reduce the risk of death and disability, you must act quickly.
“Everyone needs to know the signs and symptoms of a stroke,” says Family Medicine physician Susan Davis, DO. “The amount of time it takes for a person to be seen in theEmergency Room after experiencing a stroke is critical to saving brain tissue.”
Certain risk factors can also increase your chances of having a stroke.
“Prevention remains the best strategy,” says Internal Medicine physician Rashmi Juneja, MD. “While early intervention is available at larger institutions in the form of clot busting drugs, it’s also important to understand your risk for stroke.”
Risk Factors for Stroke:
- Age – risk doubles between 55 and 85 years of age
- Gender – Men are at higher risk of stroke
- Family History of Stroke
- Suffered a previous TIA or Stroke
- Uncontrolled High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.
- Undiagnosed Atrial Fibrillation or Carotid Artery Disease
- High Cholesterol
- Being Overweight
- Drinking Alcohol
If you have any of these risk factors you’ll want to talk with your primary care provider about treating the ones you can’t control, and make lifestyle changes to those you can control. It all starts with an annual wellness exam. Still looking for a primary care provider for your family? Every member of our care team at Michigan Primary Care Partners is accepting new patients. To schedule your first visit, contact one of our four convenient locations near you.
For more Stroke related resources, visit the National Stroke Association website