Know Your Stroke Risk

By Jeanie Hammer

People often don’t realize how at risk they are for a stroke. And because they don’t know, they can’t and don’t work on prevention. Don't be caught unaware — know your stroke risk.

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We recently had a patient arrive in the Emergency Department with stroke symptoms. We took him for a CT scan and discovered he was, in fact, having a stroke. His blood pressure while we were taking care of him was 250/175. Wow! How did it get that high? He had no clue he had high blood pressure or was at risk for a stroke. We did get it to drop down eventually, but he was a ticking time bomb.
 
In my last post, I discussed five quick tips for stroke prevention. But, like the man who hand no idea he was at risk for a stroke, people often don’t realize how at risk they are for a stroke. And because they don’t know, they can’t and don’t work on prevention.
 
It’s important to know your stroke risk. Are you high, medium or low risk? I have included a simple table to calculate what your stroke risk is.
 

What is my risk of having a stroke?

Each box is worth one point.
  • High risk – 3 points or more from the red column. Look for ways to lower your risk.
  • Moderate risk – 4-6 points from the yellow column. You’re on your way. Don’t give up.
  • Low risk – 6-8 points from the green column. Great job!
Calculating your risk is your first step to prevention. Once you know your risk, refer back to my 5 quick tips for preventing a stroke.
 
Stay tuned – in my next blog post I will discuss high blood pressure and what you can do for it.