May is Stroke Awareness Month

According to the National Stroke Association stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability.  Data also shows women are at a higher risk for stroke. Each year 55,000 more women than men have a stroke.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is an acute reduction or elimination of blood flow to a portion of the brain. When this happens, brain tissue begins to die. Depending on the severity of the deprivation of oxygen, a stroke can lead to loss of speech, movement, memory and even death.

Up to 80% of strokes can be prevented through risk reduction.

Risk factors of a stroke are:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. Smoking
  3. Diabetes
  4. Poor diet
  5. Physical Inactivity
  6. Obesity
  7. High Blood Cholesterol
  8. Carotid Artery Disease
  9. Peripheral Artery Disease
  10. Atrial Fibrillation
  11. Other Heart Disease
  12. Sickle Cell Disease

How the Health Nucleus Can Help

The Health Nucleus focuses on identification of your risk factors for stroke through cholesterol testing, lipoprotein testing, coronary calcium (CT) scoring for predicting cardiovascular risk, MRI for small vessel ischemic change in the brain and remote cardiac monitoring, which can detect atrial fibrillation. Our philosophy in the Health Nucleus is to look for any signs of disease before there are symptoms, and by doing so, we hope to reduce the incidence of stroke.

In addition, our genetic testing can identify common and rare variants that increase the lifetime and short-term disease risk for stroke. An example of a common genetic variant that can impact stroke risk is MTHFR and you will learn about your MTHFR status as part of your Whole Genome Sequencing report.

Knowing your risks can empower you and your physician and inform and impact your health.