The American Heart Association on how to prevent strokes and recognize the warning signs

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – May is National Stroke Awareness month.

Dr. Thomas Hemmen of The American Stroke Association joined Good Morning San Diego Wednesday to give some advice on what you can do to prevent strokes and the best ways to recognize the warning signs.

Primary Prevention Messaging:

  • Not all strokes can be prevented, but up to 80 percent may be by not smoking, making healthy food choices, getting enough physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and treating conditions such as high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Even if you have a condition that puts you at high risk like uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes or Afib, you may reduce your risk with the choices you make each day.
  • Speak with your health care provider about how you can reduce your risk of stroke.
  • Nothing causes more strokes than uncontrolled high blood pressure. Of the 116.4 million people in the U.S. who have high blood pressure, fewer than half have it under control, putting them at increased risk of stroke.
  • Lowering your blood pressure by 20 points could cut your risk of dying from a stroke by half. An irregular heartbeat, also known as atrial fibrillation or afib, puts you at a five times higher risk of stroke – even if you only rarely feel symptoms.
  • Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases your risk of stroke.
  • That’s because people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, may have other conditions, like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, that contribute to their risk for having a stroke.
  • Every two minutes, an adult with diabetes in the U.S. is hospitalized for a stroke.
  • At age 60, someone with type 2 diabetes and a history of stroke may have a life expectancy that is 12 years shorter than someone without both conditions.
  • By managing your diabetes and working with your healthcare team, you may reduce your risk of stroke.
  • If you have high blood cholesterol, get it under control.
  • Having large amounts of cholesterol in the blood can build up and cause blood clots, leading to a stroke.

Secondary Prevention
• The American Stroke Association recommends following “Life’s Simple 7” to achieve ideal health: don’t smoke, be physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy body weight, and control cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Health, Local San Diego News