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Generation S is an informal, interactive, information zone where we invite you to look around, drop us a line and share your stories. Stop back often ... because we're a work in progress. Young stroke survivors, caregivers, medical personnel ... you're all welcome here!
Q: Want heart-friendly recipes?
A: Check out our CAREGIVER'S CORNER.
Q:Want to see which hopitals were ranked in the top 25 when it comes to stroke care?
A:See our HOT TOPICS!
Q:Wondering where to meet other young stroke survivors?
A:Introduce yourself on our MESSAGE BOARD or sign up for an E-buddy!
Heed the Warning
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
Sudden visual disturbance in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
CHAIN OF SURVIVAL:
- Recognition of warning signs is vital. Call 911 immediately and tell the operator that you or the person you are with has warning signs of a stroke.
- Receive early assessment pre-hospital care from the Emergency Medical Service personnel. If there is a question about whether it's a stroke or not... get to a hospital and let the diagnostic tests answer that question for you.
- Receive rapid diagnosis and prompt medical attention. Restoring blood flow to the affected areas is vital during this time period.
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
- Children: heart disease, sickle cell disease, Moya Moya disease (particularly in Asian children)
- Young people: blood clotting disorder, hemophilia, circulation problems (involving high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid), recreational drug use (especially cocaine), autoimmune disease, premature thickening of the arteries, arteriovenous malformation of the brain
OTHER RISK FACTORS
- Gender: Males have a slightly higher stroke risk than females.
- Race: African-Americans and Hispanics have a higher stroke risk than other racial groups.
- Family history of stroke or TIA:
Risk is higher for people with a family history of stroke or TIA.
- Personal history of diabetes: This may be due to circulation problems that diabetes can cause. In addition, brain damage may be more severe and extensive if blood sugar is high when a stroke happens.
- High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, increases stroke risk four to six times. It is the single most important controllable stroke risk factor. High blood pressure is often called "the silent killer" because people can have it and not realize it, since it often has no symptoms. Hypertension is a common condition, affecting approximately 50 million Americans, or one-third of the adult population. Blood pressure is high if it is consistently more than 140/90.
- Heart Disease: Heart disease such as atrial fibrillation increases stroke risk up to six times. About 15 percent of all people who have a stroke have a heart disease called atrial fibrillation, or AF, which affects more than 1 million Americans. AF is caused when the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart) beat rapidly and unpredictably, producing an irregular heartbeat. AF raises stroke risk because it allows blood to pool in the heart, which can create clots that will be carried to the brain. Normally, all four chambers of the heart beat in the same rhythm somewhere between 60 and 100 times every minute. In someone who has AF, the left atrium may beat as many as 400 times a minute. While this is most common in older people, it can occur in younger adults.
- Coronary Heart Disease and High Cholesterol: High cholesterol increases stroke risk by clogging blood vessels and putting people at greater risk of coronary heart disease, another important stroke risk factor. A cholesterol level of more than 200 is considered "high."
- Sleep Apnea: Sleep disorders are a major stroke risk factor because they increase blood pressure rates. Studies also indicate that people with sleep apnea develop dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood while carbon dioxide levels rise, possibly causing blood clots.
- Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Intake: Both of these factors increase your chances of stroke. Smoking does so by 200% by damaging blood vessel walls, speeding up the clogging of arteries and raising blood pressure which makes the heart work harder.
Information and graphic courtesy of American Stroke Association