Health Tips and Wellness Tips

Five Things You Need to Ask Your Doctor about Stroke

by ARA

(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 break.

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 visit.

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 mu