Understanding Risk Factors is Key to Preventing Stroke

Each year, about 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke.  It’s a leading cause of adult disability and the leading preventable cause of disability in the United States.  The good news is 80% of all strokes are preventable!

Don’t be a statistic.  In observance of National Stroke Awareness Month throughout the month of May, Community Memorial Health System seeks to educate people about stokes, how to prevent them, and how to recognize and respond to a stroke incident.  Here’s what you need to know:

What is a Stroke?

Strokes occur when a blood vessel carrying oxygen and vital nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or a cholesterol plaque or it ruptures.  When this occurs, part of the brain is deprived of blood and oxygen, destroying millions of valuable nerve cells within minutes.  This can cause temporary or permanent brain damage, even death.

Risk Factors

You can lower your risk of stroke by understanding the risk factors and working to reduce them.  These risk factors include:

You Can Reduce Your Stroke Risk By:

  • Living a healthy lifestyle
  • Controlling your blood pressure
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Being physically active
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Managing diabetes
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Not smoking!
  • Addressing and treating depression

If you are at risk, talk to your physician so her or she can perform a variety of tests to detect cardiovascular disease early.  You can also review the list of risk factors on a regular basis and continue to look for changes you can make to lower your risk.

Determine Your Risk Right Now: Take our FREE online StrokeAware Risk Assessment.  CLICK HERE to get started!  This free, confidential online tool will only take about seven minutes and could save your life!  Our StrokeAware assessment will provide you with a personalized risk assessment report written by a Community Memorial Health System Nurse Practitioner that will help you learn more about your risk factors and identify and medical or lifestyle factors that may cause a stroke.  According to your risk factors, you’ll be referred to your primary care physician for follow-up care and be invited to participate in low-cost, stroke risk-management classes.

Gold Standard Stroke Care at Community Memorial Health System:  CMHS is proud to have received the American Stroke Association’s “Gold Plus Target Elite” Achievement Award, which highlights our dedication to the highest standards in stroke care.  In addition, CMHS has been awarded the Primary Stroke Center designation from DNV GL Healthcare and the Ventura County Emergency Medical Services Agency, whose stroke certification programs incorporate elements from hospital accreditation standards as well as requirements from the Guidelines of the Brain Attack Coalition, and recommendations of the American Stroke Association.  These programs emphasize deploying a disciplined management system and using relevant clinical best practices.