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Stroke, stroke symptom, heat stroke, different stroke, sign of stroke, stroke risk assessment
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This interactive tool estimates your risk of stroke and provides personalized tips for prevention. Anyone can use it, but it’s most accurate for people who have never had a stroke, transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke), or heart disease. If you have any of these conditions, be sure to talk to your doctor about your risk. Take a few minutes to answer some questions and find out your risk. It doesn’t tell you if you'll have a stroke or not, but it does tell you where to focus your prevention efforts. Because the best way to fight stroke is to take steps to prevent it.

Questionnaire : To estimate your risk of Stroke, take about 2 to 3 minutes to answer some questions about your health, lifestyle and personal background. Please fill in these questions to access your risk of Stroke.

1. What is your sex?
2. What is your age?    
Years
3. Have you ever had a stroke?
4. What is your height?
 
Feets Inches
5. What is your weight (in pounds)?    
6. Do you have a history of atrial fibrillation or other heart condition?
7. What is your waist size?
8. Do you eat 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day? A serving is one medium apple, banana or orange, 1 cup of raw leafy vegetable (like spinach or lettuce), ½ cup of cooked beans or peas, ½ cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit/vegetable or ¾ cup of fruit/vegetable juice.
9. Do you eat 3 or more servings of whole grains per day (wheat bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breakfast cereal, bran or popcorn)? A serving is one slice of bread, 1 ounce of breakfast cereal or ½ cup of cooked cereal, pasta or rice.
10. Do you smoke cigerattes?
 No, I never smoked cigarettes
 I used to smoke cigarettes, but I quit
 Yes
11. Do you walk (or do other moderate activity) for at least 30 minutes on most days, or at least 3 hours per week?
12. Have you ever been told that you have high blood pressure (hypertension) or have you ever been given blood pressure medication?
13. Have you ever been told that you have diabetes or a problem with high blood sugar?
14. Have you ever been told that your total cholesterol level is high?
15. What is your total cholesterol level?
16. Has anyone in your immediate family (mother, father, sister, brother) had a heart attack or a stroke?
17. Do you consider yourself to be Hispanic/Latino?
18. Which category best describes your race?


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Risk factors : Most scientists agree that these things affect the risk of stroke. Some may apply to you, but others may not.

Factors that increase a person's risk of stroke but cannot be changed include:

Age and stroke : Most people who have strokes are over the age of 55, and the risk of stroke increases with age - the older a person is, the higher the risk of stroke.

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Sex and stroke : Both men and women have strokes, but men have a higher risk than women.

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Family history and stroke : A person with a close relative who has had a stroke or heart attack (especially before the age of 65) may be at higher risk of stroke.

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Race, ethnicity and stroke : African Americans tend to have a higher risk of stroke than other racial and ethnic groups.

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Most risk factors for stroke can be modified to reduce risk, either through lifestyle changes or through medication, if needed. These include:

Tobacco smoke and stroke : The chemicals in tobacco smoke increase the build up of plaque in artery walls and promote the development of blood clots that can cause strokes. Smoking increases the risk of stroke by itself, and it can also increase the effects other stroke risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and high cholesterol. Smokers have more than twice the risk of stroke compared to non-smokers. Exposure to tobacco smoke, including cigar and pipe smoke, increases your chance of stroke. New evidence shows that even passive smoke (the smoke from someone else's cigarettes) may increase the risk of stroke. Tobacco use also increases your risk of heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, emphysema, bronchitis, diabetes, Stroke and cancers of the lung, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, lip, mouth, tongue, larynx, throat and esophagus. For many people, quitting smoking is the single best thing they can do do to improve their health.

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Weight, waist size and stroke : The risk of stroke goes up as body weight increases. This is especially true for people who carry extra body fat around the waist (called "apple shaped"). Extra weight puts extra strain on the whole body, increasing the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Maintaining a healthy weight not only decreases the risk of stroke, it also decreases the risk of heart attacks and cancer of the colon, kidney, breast and uterus.

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Diet and stroke : There are many dietary factors that you can use to lower your risk of stroke. Foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains decrease the risk of stroke and other diseases, like heart disease.

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Physical activity and stroke : Exercise is one of the best ways to help maintain a healthy weight. Not only does exercise decrease the risk of stroke, it also helps prevent other diseases such as heart disease, Stroke, diabetes and colon cancer. Even just 30 minutes of moderate exercise (like walking) daily can decrease your risk of disease.

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Blood pressure and stroke : Blood pressure is the force created when the heart pumps blood. When a person has high blood pressure (hypertension), the heart has to pump harder and the blood vessels are under increased pressure, which can lead to injury of the vessels and stroke. Hypertension is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease and kidney damage. Some people are able to control their blood pressure with diet and exercise, while others need medication.

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Diabetes and stroke : People with diabetes do not have normal control of their blood sugar levels, and the high blood sugar that results from this condition can cause damage to the body, including the nerves and blood vessels. Diabetes by itself increases the risk of stroke and it also increases the risk of stroke associated with other conditions, like hypertension, smoking and high cholesterol. Avoiding smoking, staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can all help control or prevent adult-onset diabetes, and medication is also available if needed.

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Blood cholesterol and stroke : There are different types of cholesterol in the body. If the blood cholesterol is at unhealthy levels it can lead to damage of the blood vessel walls. Blood tests can show if your LDL is too high or if your HDL is too low. Diet, exercise, weight control and avoiding smoking can all help control your cholesterol levels. Your doctor can also prescribe medications if necessary.

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Fact Analysis

What is a stroke? Stroke is a very serious problem that develops when there is an interruption in the flow of blood to the brain. Also known as cerebrovascular accidents or "brain attacks", there are two main types of strokes. If a blood vessel is blocked by clots or other particles, it is called an ischemic stroke. If a blood vessel breaks and bleeds, it is called a hemorrhagic stroke. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain. When blood flow to part of the brain stops, that part of the brain starts to die within minutes. The dying cells then release chemicals that can damage other cells. The effects of a stroke depend on which part of the brain is starved of blood and for how long. Because of this, it is very important that anyone showing symptoms of a stroke (see below) get medical treatment as soon as possible. Related to strokes are episodes called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs). A TIA (often called a "ministroke") is caused by a short interruption in blood flow to the brain. The effect, though, is only temporary, and symptoms last less than 24 hours. However, a TIA can be an important warning sign because about one third of people who have a TIA will have a stroke in the future. Anyone who experiences a TIA should see their doctor immediately to learn about special steps (including possible medications and surgery) that can decrease the risk of a future stroke. Use of certain kinds of street drugs, like cocaine, amphetamines and heroin, also increases the risk of stroke.

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How common are strokes? Stroke is the third leading cause of death, after coronary heart disease and cancer. Each year there are about 600,000 strokes in the US, and strokes kill over 150,000 Americans each year. Over 15% of people who have had a stroke die within 30 days, and 15-30% of people who survive a stroke are permanently disabled.

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Who is at risk for having a stroke? Anyone can have a stroke but most people who have strokes are over the age of 55. Strokes affect both men and women. African Americans tend to be at highest risk, but people of all races and ethnicities suffer from strokes.

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How can you prevent a stroke? There are many things you can do to reduce your risk of stroke:

  • don't smoke
  • keep your blood pressure under control
  • stay physically active
  • if you have diabetes, treat it
  • eat a healthy diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • keep your blood cholesterol under control
  • avoid illegal drug use

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Who should be screened? For people without symptoms, there are no good screening tests for predicting stroke. Your doctor may do an exam to listen for partial blockage of the vessels in your neck that supply blood to your brain. If you have any symptoms of blocked blood vessels or special risk factors, your doctor may want to do other tests to study the vessels. Anyone who develops such symptoms (see below), should see a doctor immediately. People of all ages should be periodically screened for risk factors of stroke: diabetes, high blood pressure, poor blood cholesterol levels and overweight/obesity.

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What are the symptoms of a stroke? Sudden changes in your strength or sensation could indicate a transient ischemic attack or a stroke. If you experience any of the symptoms below, see a doctor immediately. Every minute is important when it comes to limiting damage and saving brain cells. Symptoms of stroke:

  • Sudden weakness or numbness in your face, body, arms or legs, especially if only one side is affected
  • Sudden loss of vision or problems seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden confusion, inability to speak or understand what others are saying
  • Sudden dizziness, instability or inability to stand, walk or coordinate movement
  • Sudden severe, unexplained headache

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