According to the American Stroke Association, May is American Stroke Month. If you are not familiar with the risk factors and symptoms of stroke, now is a great time to learn more. Strokes are the leading cause of long term disabilities and the 4th leading cause of death in the United States.
There are certain risk factors that can cause stroke in anyone. For example, more women than men suffer from strokes each year. People with a family history of stroke have a greater chance of suffering one themselves. And once you reach the age of 55, your chance of stroke doubles. Those factors can not be controlled. But there are some risk factors that can be controlled. High blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib), and Atherosclerosis (build up of plaque in artery walls) are all treatable diseases that can lead to stroke if not treated properly.
There are also lifestyle changes you can make to lessen you chance of stroke as well. Smoking doubles your chance of stroke. Among many other health benefits, quitting smoking now brings your chance of stroke back down to a better level. Alcohol use is also another controllable risk factor. Obesity also puts strain on your entire circulatory system. Cutting back on the alcohol and watching your weight can also help keep your chances of stroke down.
If you are concerned about stroke or want to learn more about prevention or risk factors, contact your health care provider or visit www.strokeassociation.org for more information. And if your employer does not provide health care coverage for you or your family, contact us for a quote on a health insurance policy that will cover your healthcare needs. Knowing the risk factors and doing all you can to prevent stroke is in your best interest.