May is Stroke Awareness Month

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a stroke and around 800,000 people have a stroke each year in the United States. A stroke is a blood vessel blockage going to the brain. A stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and can lead to significant disability. Control your risk factors to improve your brain health.  Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans, but the risk of having a stroke varies with race and ethnicity.

The risk of having a first stroke is nearly twice as high for blacks as for whites, and blacks have the highest rate of death due to stroke. Though stroke death rates have declined for decades among all races and ethnicities, Hispanics have seen an increase in death rates since 2013. Reference Link.

Research has shown that unhealthy behaviors such as physical inactivity, poor diet, and smoking have an adverse effect on health and increase your stroke risk. For example, smokers have a 2-4x increased risk of stroke. During National Stroke Awareness Month, we urge everyone to take a look at their stroke risk factors and pledge to make at least one change to reduce their stroke risk. Here’s how much prevalence of stroke would be reduced if each were eliminated:

– Hypertension 47.9%
– Physical inactivity 35.8%
– Lipids (blood fats) 26.8%
– Poor diet 23.2%
– Obesity 18.6%
– Smoking 12.4%
– Heart causes 9.1%
– Alcohol intake 5.8%
– Stress 5.8%
– Diabetes 3.9%

Orlando Neurosurgeon Dr. Ravi Gandhi says of his personal experiences with stroke, "I have had a significant family history of stroke. My grandfather had a stroke when I was young which left him paralyzed on his left side of his body. He ultimately died from complications related to this stroke. This was my motivation for dedicating my life to helping people who have had a stroke. It is because of this that I hold strong desires to educate people about stroke and encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyles." He urges everyone to learn about stroke risk factors, talk with a physician, and to make good lifestyle choices.

Understanding Stroke Risk in Women

Understanding Stroke Risk in Men

For more information - Orlando Neurosurgery.