Did you know that 1 Australian suffers a stroke every 10 minutes? 1 in 6 people will suffer a stroke in their lifetime, with many experiencing recurring strokes. Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability world wide, so knowing the symptoms are risk factors is extremely important. 

What is a stroke?

A stroke occurs when blood supply to the brain is interrupted by either a blockage (ischemic stroke) or a rupture (haemorrhagic stroke) to the cerebral blood vessels. This lack of blood and oxygen supply causes brain tissue to die. The area where the stroke occurs is where the damaged brain tissue is. This can effect particular areas of the brain, such as speech, hearing, vision and motor control. Stroke isn’t a one size fits all event, it affects everyone in different ways and different areas of the brain.

What can I do to decrease my risk?

In some cases, strokes can’t necessarily be prevented with other medical factors contributing a certain risk; but in many cases, modifying certain risk factors can decrease the possibility of stroke. Stroke is common, with over close to half a million Australians living with the effect of stroke today. High blood pressure is one of the leading risk factors associated with stroke, with uncontrolled blood pressure increasing the risk of stroke up to 6 times! Being inactive and obese are other modifiable risk factors involved with stroke. With the rise of type 2 diabetes, we could also see an increase in the cases of stroke with approximately 80% of diabetes patients dying from heart disease or stroke. 

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