Stroke and Carotid Artery Disease
A. Stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped, causing brain cells to die. Learn more about stroke.
A. You can help reduce your risk for stroke by:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Staying active
- Not smoking
- Controlling high blood pressure
- Controlling high cholesterol
- Controlling diabetes
A. Stroke is often seen as a man’s problem. But in fact, it is a major concern for women. Twice as many women die from stroke than breast cancer every year. In addition, women overwhelmingly shoulder the burden of caring for individuals after a stroke.
A. No. We screen for some leading causes of stroke, including carotid artery disease and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat). We also screen for common stroke risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and elevated C-reactive protein.
A. Yes, but they may want to check with their doctor first, as insurance may cover the cost of their diagnostic studies.
A. Lifestyle changes and medical management are effective at slowing the progression of atherosclerotic disease and preventing stroke, but the main option for removal of atherosclerotic plaque buildup is surgery. However, you would not be a candidate for this procedure unless the disease was determined to be advanced enough by your doctor.
A. No. An abnormal finding for this study means that a problem exists, which your physician needs to know about in order to conduct further diagnostic testing. You may need medication or lifestyle changes, as well as yearly follow-ups. If the disease is advanced enough, your physician may refer you to a vascular surgeon.
A. Atrial fibrillation and carotid artery blockage are both significant risk factors for stroke. Having both screenings will provide a more complete stroke risk assessment.