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Stroke Prevention at Blount Memorial Hospital reduces risk and saves lives

The Blount Memorial stroke program sponsors stroke education to help people reduce their risk for stroke. Education focuses on risk factors, symptoms, needed lifestyle changes and treatment options.

Stroke is one of the most preventable of all life-threatening health problems. There are controllable and uncontrollable risk factors that increase a person's risk for stroke. Having one or more of the uncontrollable risk factors doesn't mean that you will have a stroke. By addressing the controllable factors through lifestyle changes, medication and exercise, you can reduce your stroke risk.

Uncontrollable risk factors for stroke include:

  • age – Your stroke risk doubles with each decade past age 55.
  • gender – Before age 65, men have a slightly higher stroke risk than women.
  • race – The stroke rate for Hispanic Americans is double the rate for Caucasians, and African-Americans have a higher stroke risk than most other ethnic groups.
  • family history of stroke
  • diabetes

Controllable risk factors for stroke include:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • high cholesterol
  • sleep disordered breathing (Sleep Apnea)
  • personal history of stroke
  • smoking - the stroke risk for smokers is double that of non-smokers.
  • excessive alcohol consumption
  • obesity – Excess weight strains the entire circulatory system and makes people more likely to have other stroke risk factors such as high cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure.

While the emphasis of Blount Memorial’s stroke education is on prevention, stroke educators promote awareness of the importance of seeking immediate emergency medical treatment if you suspect you are having a stroke.

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