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Stroke Smart Magazine

September/October 2007

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Scots More Concerned About Lost Bank Cards Than Stroke
The Scotland Stroke Association found that 32% of people (out of 2,000 surveyed) would act immediately if they lost a bank card but would wait more than 24 hours to get help for a suspected stroke. Half of those surveyed believed illegal drug use was more likely to cause brain damage than a stroke.

Maddy Halliday, director of the Stroke Association in Scotland, said: "These results highlight how stroke continues to be misunderstood by the public. People do not realize the devastation that a stroke can cause or that it can be prevented."

Two million brain cells die every minute during stroke, increasing risk of permanent brain damage, disability or death. Recognizing symptoms and acting FAST to get medical attention can save a life and limit disabilities. 




Breathing Auto Exhaust May Increase Stroke Risk
Smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are common risk factors for stroke. Now air pollution joins the list of risks.

Research completed by the University of California at Los Angeles found a direct genetic link between vehicle exhaust and the hardening of the arteries. The study shows that diesel exhaust combined with blood cholesterol can create a "dangerous synergy," says Dr. Andre Nel, the principal study author.

This combination could potentially clog arteries and lead to stroke. Because most people in the U.S. are exposed to auto exhaust on a daily basis, it is difficult to manage this risk. But don’t despair; there are things you can do. First, be sure to manage any other stroke risk factors you may have. Also do your part to reduce auto exhaust and air pollution by carpooling or using public transportation whenever you can.




Diabetics at Double the Risk for Stroke
According to a study from the University of Alberta, people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes have twice the risk of having a stroke within the first five years of treatment. More than 12,000 people with diabetes participated in the study. After five years, stroke rates were compared between the study subjects and the general population. Researchers are hoping that their findings will motivate diabetes patients and care providers to be more aggressive in their stroke prevention treatments right after diagnosis.





Anticoagulants Better Than Antiplatelets For Stroke Prevention
Research shows that patients who have arterial disease have a high risk of stroke and heart attack.

A recently published report found oral anticoagulants (blood thinners) to be more effective than antiplatelet therapy in preventing first strokes. Anticoagulants have been shown to reduce stroke 10 to 20 percent better than antiplatelet therapy including aspirin and clopidogrel. The meta-analysis examined eight trials and included 9,598 patients. Researchers are hoping that these findings will motivate clinicians who have been reluctant to use anticoagulation therapy, to be more open-minded.




Stroke Twice as Likely to Strike Middle-Aged Women
A five-year study found that of people ages 45 to 54, women are at more than double the risk for stroke than men. UCLA researchers determined that waist size and coronary artery disease are predictors of stroke risk among middle-aged women. Several other factors known to increase a woman’s risk for stroke include birth control pills, menopause, high blood pressure and migraine headaches.




Web Pages in Spanish
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is celebrated every year between September 15 and October 15, National Stroke Association will launch several web pages about Latinos and stroke in English and Spanish. Visit the new spanish section at www.stroke.org/espanol after September 15th.

There are more than 41.3 million Latinos residing in the U.S., and in general they have a higher rate of strokes at a younger age than non-Hispanic whites, unique risk factors and several barriers to healthcare access.



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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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