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One More Reason to Act Fast – Assess Your Stroke Risk

A story this week about  26-year-old twins who had a stroke only a few months apart  from each other may seem like an oddity to you.  While it’s true that stroke is more common in older adults, young people have strokes as well. Most people don’t realize that stroke is the #4 cause of death in the United States.  A stroke occurs when a part of the brain is not getting enough oxygen and nutrients. This can be due to a blocked blood vessel supplying the brain. Alternatively, it could be because of bursted blood vessel that results in bleeding in the brain. For those that survive a stroke, they can be left with major limitations in daily function and quality of life. The American Heart Association estimates that there are 3.8 million women survivors of stroke alive today. In honor of Stroke Awareness Month in May, let’s remember some truths and mistruths about stroke. Truth #1 – Stroke can happen at any age The story of the 26-year-old sisters who both had strokes is dramatic, but stroke is not that unusual in young people. The causes of stroke are usually different when they occur in younger compared to older people, but stroke can happen at any age. One of the twins apparently had atrial fibrillation, which is a big risk factor for stroke. Truth #2 – You can reduce the risk of having a stroke Overall, the most common risk factors for having a stroke are listed below. Many of these are factors that you have the power to change. Smoking High cholesterol High blood pressure Diabetes Irregular heart rhythm (such as atrial fibrillation ) Diabetes Obesity Lack of exercise But in younger adults, and women in particular, stroke may also be due to other risk factors, such […]