10 Intriguing Facts About Stroke

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1. Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States.

  • In an average period of 40 seconds, one American experiences stroke and someone dies from it every 4 minutes.
  • Each year, death of Americans from stroke is nearly 130,000.

2. Americans have the highest risk of stroke.

  • The 3 major factors of stroke are smoking, high cholesterol level and high blood pressure.
  • Almost half of the Americans have one or more of these factors.
  • African-Americans are more likely to have stroke than whites mainly because of several health related issues and lifestyle behaviors

3.Stroke is the leading cause of adult severe disability.

  • Stroke is sometimes referred as “brain attack”.
  • Deprivation of oxygen that supplies the brain cells will cause a permanent brain damage.
  • Brain is a single organ which affects the entire body.
  • Without prompt treatment about 60 % of people who suffer a stroke have a moderate to severe impairment.
  • About half of stroke survivors age 65 and above experiences a serious decline in mobility.
  • Stroke can cause the loss of ability to talk normally, feed oneself, ability to walk and other activities of daily living.

4. Disability from stroke can be prevented.

  • Stroke is a medical emergency.
  • Knowing the symptoms and acting promptly can prevent serious disability from stroke.

5. Stroke can affect people of any age at any time.

  • Interrupted blood supply to the brain due to clot will lead to stroke (ischemic stroke)
  • Stroke may occur when there is leakage from blood vessel in the brain and cause damage (hemorrhagic stroke).
  • Hypertension is one of the major factors of stroke.
  • Early onset of hypertension can occur as early as the age of 18.
  • Obesity is one of the contributory factors of uncontrolled hypertension among young people.

 6. Stroke has a higher mortality rate in women.

  • Taking contraceptive pills and pregnancy increase women’s risk of stroke.
  • Women who are at risk are middle aged and the risk doubles after menopause.
  • Women are most likely to die from stroke.
  • 6 out of 10 people who die from stroke are women.
  • Reaching the hospital on time is critical. The patient should receive immediate treatment of not less than an hour.

7. The recurrence of stroke is more likely to occur 5 years after the first one.

  • There are about 25% of people who experiences recurrence of stroke after 5 years.
  • The first stroke anyone could experience is usually mild but the second stroke is known to be a serious one that can cause moderate to severe disability.

8. Patient has a higher susceptibility to many medical complications after a stroke.

  • Complications may arise as a direct consequence from the brain injury (immobility).
  • Other medical complications are pneumonia, cardiac related illness, fever, incontinence, thromboembolism and dysphagia.

9. Recovery and rehabilitation intervention is unique in each person.

  • An individualized care plan is ideal for the recovery process of a stroke patient.
  • Physical, speech and occupational therapy are essential in rehabilitation and recovery after a stroke.
  • Health care workers can easily earn the cooperation of some patients while some are less keen in following the treatment and intervention.

10. Stroke can lead to depression.

  • It is termed as post-stroke depression.
  • Stroke survivors need rehabilitation for recovery, relearning to perform the basic skills of daily living a major transformation in one’s life can trigger depression.
  • Depression greatly affects an individual’s behavior.
  • Post stroke patient may become more irritable and may manifest a noticeable change in personality.
  • Post stroke depression affects the functional recovery of stroke survivors.
  • Joining a support group may help the patient’s adjustment to life.

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