Life Line Screening
The Good News
Congratulations men, your stroke symptoms are the more commonly known ones, which means you are more likely to get help, faster.1
Common symptoms include:
1. Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
2. A lack of balance, poor coordination
Women, on the other hand, may have the traditional symptoms but often also report non-traditional symptoms like headaches and confusion, even vomiting, nausea, and hiccups.2
The Bad News
Unfortunately, gentlemen, you may have a higher risk of stroke than do women, particularly at younger ages.3 More women than men have strokes but that is because they live longer, so that isn’t a cause to celebrate. 2
Stroke is a Serious Problem
You don’t think this could affect you? Wrong. Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States, and on average, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the United States. The risk of having a stroke doubles every decade after the age of 55.4
What Can You Do?
Think about your risk factors and pay attention to some under-recognized ones. Common ones include poor diet, inactivity, smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. In fact, high blood pressure continues to be one of the most important risk factors for stroke despite inexpensive medications to help control it.5
Newer guidelines call for maintaining blood pressure to 120/80, a change from the former recommendation of 140/90. This new recommendation comes from a very large, randomized clinical trial funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health. They found that the lower target reduced cardiovascular events by 25% and reduced the overall risk of death by 27%.6
Another frequently unrecognized risk factor is atrial fibrillation—the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. The American College of Cardiology says that atrial fibrillation (afib) increases the risk of stroke five-fold and the lifetime risk for afib is as high as one in four for men. It accounts for between 15 and 20 percent of all strokes.7
Getting screened can help identify some of these risk factors, and if you have a family history of high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, or other cardiovascular disease, make sure to let your physician know. Family history is a significant risk factor but unfortunately, it isn’t one you can modify.
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