Integrated Benefit Consultants 

IBC Healthy Living Newsletter

Stroke Awareness Month
May, 2012

According to the American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, 700,000 Americans suffer each year from a new or recurrent stoke. We need to know the facts and steps on how to react if someone we know or we suffer from a stroke.




  • Every three minutes, someone dies from a stroke
  • Out of every five deaths from stroke, three are women and two are men
  • Stroke kills nearly 164,000 people a year (approximately one out of 15 deaths)
  • Stoke is the number-three cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

    Source: Strength for Caring



    Two Main Types Exist


  • Ischemic stroke is caused by blockage of a blood vessel.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding.

  • Source: Strength for Caring


    What To Do


    Any of the following factors can increase the risk of a stroke:

    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • High cholesterol level
    • Cigarette smoking
    • Being overweight
    • Family history of stroke
    • Heart valve or heart muscle disease called endocarditis
    • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis, or fatty cholesterol deposits on artery walls)
    • Heart disease or coronary artery disease)
    • Heart rhythm problems such as atrial fibrillation
    • Sleep apnea
    • Sickle cell anemia
    • Cocaine use.

    Source: Summit Medical Group




    Source: National Stroke Association


    What Happens Next?
    Chronic Neurological Consequences of Stroke


    Although stroke is a disease of the brain, it can affect the entire body. A common disability that results from stroke is complete paralysis on one side of the body, called hemiplegia. A related disability that is not as debilitating as paralysis is one-sided weakness or hemiparesis. Stroke may cause problems with thinking, awareness, attention, learning, judgment, and memory. Stroke survivors often have problems understanding or forming speech. A stroke can lead to emotional problems. Stroke patients may have difficulty controlling their emotions or may express inappropriate emotions. Many stroke patients experience depression. Stroke survivors may also have numbness or strange sensations. The pain is often worse in the hands and feet and is made worse by movement and temperature changes, especially cold temperatures. 

    Recurrent stroke is frequent; about 25 percent of people who recover from their first stroke will have another stroke within 5 years.


    Source: National Stroke Association

    How Can I Take Care of Myself?



    Discuss with your healthcare provider the cause of your stroke, and follow his or her advice on how to avoid another one. Your provider may advise diet changes, regular exercise, and programs for stress management.

    Ask your provider if you should take aspirin. Low-dose aspirin therapy reduces the risk of stroke for women. For men, aspirin has been found to lower the risk of a first-time heart attack but has little effect on the risk of stroke.


    How Can I Prevent a Stroke From Occurring?

    • If you have high blood pressure, it is essential that you control it with medicine.
    • If you have diabetes, monitor and control your blood sugar.
    • If you have an irregular or fast heart rate, you may need to take medicine such as warfarin, aspirin, or clopidogrel. Talk with your healthcare provider about this.
    • If you smoke, quit.
    • Keep your diet low in fat to decrease the risk of developing fatty deposits in your blood vessels.
    • Exercise every day according to your healthcare provider's recommendations.
    • Keep a healthy weight.


    Source: National Stroke Association
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    Heather Himelwright
    Integrated Benefit Consultants
    In This Issue

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    Aspirin is as 'good as warfarin' for most heart failure patients
    Aspirin could be as effective as more expensive drugs for heart failure patients with a normal heart rhythm, according to researchers. To read more, visit:


    Eating Citrus Fruit May Lower Women's Stroke Risk
    ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2012)
    - A compound in citrus fruits may reduce your stroke risk, according to research reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association. Eating higher amounts of a compound in citrus fruits, especially oranges and grapefruit, may lower ischemic stroke risk. Women who ate high amounts of the compound had a 19 percent lower risk of ischemic stroke than women who consumed the least amount. To read more, visit:










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