Five Things You Need to Ask Your Doctor about
(ARA) - Stroke is the third leading
cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the
United States. Every year, stroke strikes approximately 750,000
Americans, killing 160,000 and forever changing the lives
of many who survive. The good news is that up to 80
percent of strokes can be prevented every year; the bad news is
that studies conducted by the National Stroke Association show
that fewer than 30 percent of
those surveyed said their doctors discussed the topic of stroke
during annual exams.
A stroke is a “brain attack,” cutting off vital blood and
oxygen to the brain cells that control everything we do -- from
speaking, to walking, to breathing. Most strokes occur when
arteries are blocked by blood clots or by the gradual build-up
of plaque and other fatty deposits. Some strokes can be caused
by arteries rupturing when weak spots on the blood vessel wall
To help patients get the information they need to control their
risk factors for stroke, the National Stroke Association has
launched the Ask Your Doctor education campaign, urging you to
ask your doctor the following five questions on your next
1. Am I at risk for stroke?
Most people have some stroke risk. A few stroke risk factors
are beyond your control, such as being over age 55, being a
male, being an African-American, having diabetes, and having a
family history of stroke.
There are medical and lifestyle risk factors you can control.
Medical stroke risk factors include previous stroke, previous
episode of transient ischemic attack, or “TIA,” high
cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial
fibrillation and carotid artery disease. Lifestyle stroke risk
factors include smoking, being overweight, and drinking too