Most Strokes Can Be Prevented – Know the Risk Factors

A Quick Overview of Stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency. It occurs when the brain’s blood vessels become clogged or rupture. In any case, a certain area of the brain does not get its usual supply of the oxygen and essential nutrients. As a result, the oxygen-deprived area may die or sustain permanent damages. A stroke is also called brain attack (do not confuse with aheart attack).

The types of stroke are:

  • Ischemic stroke. It results when the brain’s blood vessels cannot supply oxygen to the brain tissues due to some obstruction. The most common obstructions are blood clots and fatty deposits on their inner walls.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. When any of the brain’s blood vessels ruptures, there is an accumulation of blood in that area. Consequently, it damages the brain tissues in the nearby areas too.

The problem with having a stroke is that it can leave some permanent damage in the brain. In this way, it may also contribute to some long-term disabilities.

Stroke In The US: What Do Stats Say?

Statistics on strokes indicate it ranks 5th in the list of leading causes of death in the US. In fact, death due to stroke occurs every four minutes. Regrettably, the rate is even higher for black people. Note that heart disorders, cancer, respiratory disorders, and accidents are the top four causes of death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

  • Stroke is responsible for 1 out of every 20 deaths.
  • It affects more than 795,000 people every year. Among them, about 610,000 have it for the first time.
  • Nearly 1 out every 4 previous patients of stroke develops another stroke.
  • Ischemic stroke accounts for up to 90% of all cases of stroke.
  • The economic burden of stroke in the United States is about $33 billion each year.
  • Long-term disability like limited mobility is a major problem in stroke survivors. In fact, more than 50% of survivors aged 65 or over experience some kinds of problems with movement.

Can You Prevent Stokes?

Of course.The first thing you should know is that most strokes can be prevented. And with timely treatment, you can expect better recovery. Also, you might be able to prevent long-term disabilities. Make sure you understand the risk factors.

What Are The Risk Factors For Stroke?

  • Increasing age is a natural and non-modifiable risk factor for stroke. But, this, in no way, means that only older people get strokes. In fact, strokes can affect people of any age. For example, in 2009, people younger than 65 constituted 34% of hospitalized strokes patients. With this being said, you have to put more focus on risk factors that you can change.
  • High blood pressure. Schedule a visit with your doctor if your blood pressure is 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or more for an extended period of time.
  • This chronic disorder of glucose metabolism may also boost other risk factors like high blood pressure and heart diseases.
  • Heart diseases like Coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation can cause strokes by blocking the blood supply to the brain.
  • It increases blood pressure and damages the blood vessels. Meaning, smoking is a risk factor for both strokes as well as many other diseases. Visit your doctor to learn how to quit smoking.
  • High cholesterol. High levels of fatty substances in the bloodstream may deposit on the inner walls of the blood vessels. Consequently, fatty deposits reduce blood flow.

What You Can Do to Reduce the Risks

  • Control blood pressure. If you have not developed high blood pressure, take measures to prevent it. For example, eat a healthy diet, stay active, and do not smoke. If you have medications, take them and follow other lifestyle changes upon recommendation by your doctor. In any case, check your blood pressure on a regular basis. Ask your doctor if when and how often you should get checked.
  • Check your cholesterol. Doctors recommend checking your cholesterol level at least once every 5 years. If you are obese or eat an unhealthy diet, you may need to check it more often.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a known risk factor for a plethora of health disorders. With this being said, you should aim for a healthy weight irrespective of your current health condition. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool to test if your weight is healthy. Ask your doctor or use a BMI calculator.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Feast on fresh fruits and vegetables. Increase your fiber intake and limit consumption of salt, trans fat, and cholesterol. That way, you can also prevent many other heart diseases.
  • Quit smoking. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you are a smoker, quit. Seek professional help if you cannot give it up on your own.
  • Keep blood sugar in check. Take a regular blood glucose test. Also, do not forget to continue eating healthy and staying active.
  • Limit alcohol intake. Well, it isn’t a new concept that alcohol damages your heart and blood vessels. Drink in moderation. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate limit for your body.
  • Stick to your medication plan. The risk of a major stroke rises significantly in those patients with high cholesterol and high blood pressure who do not take their prescribed medications. On a positive note, you can reduce the risk by complying with treatment. (This 2016 study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology)

Act Now To Prevent Strokes

It is a known fact that early diagnosis is key to ensuring success of a treatment program. Because stroke is a serious condition, any delay in seeking a medical help can lead to a catastrophic result. You should know when to call 911. As a matter of fact, getting emergency treatment within 3 hours of an attack can slash the rate of disability by a huge margin.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about the risk factors and how most strokes can be prevented, visit Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.


How Would Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts Impact Global Health?

The Trump administration’s “America First” policy might be good news for some Americans.

However, their recent FY 18 budget request is nothing less than a nightmare for ailing poor people. The proposed budget aims to cut down global health spending by a huge margin. Notably, such a move is poised to negatively impact the health of people in poor countries.

As a matter of fact, the US has been spending a significant chunk of its budget on the improvement of health, especially in developing countries. Policymakers say such generosity projects a positive image of the US in the global arena. Furthermore, it might also protect US interest and boost national security.

This trend, which continued for more than a decade, seems to be coming to an end.

After Trump’s “unbelievable” victory in the presidential run, things have been changing rapidly both within and outside the US. No doubt, Trump’s victory was looked upon as a moment of “change” by many analysts all over the world.

Which Areas Will the Budget Cut Affect? Will the Poor Die Sick?

Looking at the extent of the possible damages due to budget cuts, some could assume that poor people will die hungry and diseased.

The Trump administration has put forward a proposal to slash global fund by a whopping $2.2 billion. This means it would be a 26% reduction in global health spending, which currently stands at $8.7 billion.

If the US Congress gives a nod to this, it will come into effect in the 2018 fiscal year. Let’s look at the specific areas that will bear the brunt of the budget cut.

  • International family planning programs would lose almost all funding from the US. This is by far the most hard-hit health area. Impaired family planning efforts would cause a widespread effect on both maternal health and child health.
  • The budget of the HIV/AIDS programs would go down by 17%. Most notably, it would wreak havoc on the efforts that focus on combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world’s poorest countries.
  • Programs aimed at reducing the prevalence of malaria would witness an 11% decrease in their budget. Efforts to combat tuberculosis would also come under fire.
  • Moreover, Trump’s budget cuts could make food aid and disaster relief programs dysfunctional. Unfortunately, the proposal comes at a time when 70 million people are lacking food and 20 million others are starving in a famine-like condition.
  • Vaccination programs would also lose a major share of the funding from the US.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The experts believe the long-terms impacts can be more devastating than what we can currently imagine.

Women and Children Will Be Most Affected by Trump’s Proposed Budget Cuts

There is no doubt that America’s departure from international relief programs will severely impact every sick and desperate individual. Yet, women and children might be at a greater risk of the possible damages.

Interestingly, many critics call Trump’s budget an example of gender bias. According to them, the budget plans to cut more on women-oriented programs.

But massive cuts in family planning programs will surely hurt female and child health. Women will lose the access to contraceptives and safe delivery options. Not to mention its effects on newly born children specifically.

Likewise, if the Trump administration opts out of the food aid programs, the incidence of malnutrition will skyrocket. Remember that the nutritional requirements of women and children are naturally higher.

What About the People of America? Trump’s Budget Cuts Also Target National Health and Related Services

If you think being a US citizen saves you from the impacts of thebudget cut, many will agree that you are wrong.

The newly elected president also plans to cut billions from health spending within the US too.

For example, it aims to prohibit Health and Human Services from spending on the entities that provide abortions. Note that this also includes Planned Parenthood.

Here are some more examples on how Trump’s budget cuts could impact people living in the US.

  • The funding of the Department of Health and Human Services will plunge by 18%, which is equal to $15.1 billion. With that being said, the CDC and FDA will receive 17% and 31% less funding respectively.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive $5.8 billion less than what is getting now (18% reduction).
  • Grants for low-income Americans will see a reduction of $4.2 billion.
  • Citing training programs for nurses and other healthcare professionals as ineffective, the Trump administration plans to reduce funding in this sector by $400 million.
  • If we believe what President Trump said in the past about the Medicaid budget, we can expect to see the cash flowing. Nonetheless, there are reports that suggest the mammoth program could lose nearly $610 billion over the next ten years. Also, some reports indicate the Trump administration is planning to cut down the Affordable Care Act.

What It Means for You

On an international level, the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts may prove an exemplary failure of humanity, international policy, and diplomacy.

On the national level, there may exist the fear of diseases and reduced access to quality healthcare services.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about healthcare, visit Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.