At 50-something, you may feel invincible, but strokes can strike at any age. While the elderly still have a corner on the market, more and more younger folks are succumbing to strokes these days. In fact, it’s the third-leading cause of death in the United States, and 25% of stroke victims are under the age of 65.
While researchers have been studying this phenomenon for a few decades with no clear answers, the recent deaths of John Singleton and Luke Perry have been a wake-up call for many. Knowing that strokes do not discriminate on the basis of age makes it all the more important to learn why strokes happen and how you can reduce your chances of having one.
Dr. Henock Saint-Jacques at Harlem Cardiology is passionate about teaching his patients the risk factors of strokes and which ones are avoidable or controllable. If you have any of the known risk factors or just want to be on the safe side, you can trust Dr. Saint-Jacques to give you a thorough examination and advise you about the best way to prevent a stroke.
Whether you’re 50, 60, or 70, here’s what you need to know about strokes.
Risks for stroke know no age limits
Strokes occur either when a blockage or clot prevents oxygen-rich blood from reaching your brain, or when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into your brain. There are many reasons this can happen, most of which come down to your cardiovascular health.
Some of the factors that put you at risk are unavoidable, such as:
- Race — African Americans are more susceptible
- Gender — men have a higher risk of stroke
Many risk factors, however, are completely controllable, including:
- High blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- High cholesterol
- Sleep apnea
None of these risk factors is dependent on old age, and most of them are preventable. Talk with Dr. Saint-Jacques to learn how to turn your health around and save yourself from a stroke.
Are you at risk for a stroke?
Traditionally, it has been difficult for doctors to predict strokes, as they often come on suddenly, with little to no warning. But Dr. Saint-Jacques uses advanced technology to gather more detailed information than simply evaluating your risk level and cholesterol and plaque condition.
He goes beyond traditional tests by conducting a breakthrough blood test that analyzes the biological processes that indicate an unstable cardiac lesion.
To do this, he measures the proteins related to:
- Apoptosis (cell death)
- Vascular remodeling
This analysis helps Dr. Saint-Jacques identify unstable cardiac lesions that are likely to rupture.
The best stroke treatment is prevention
Once Dr. Saint-Jacques has determined your risk for cardiovascular disease, he can develop a plan that helps improve your health. Every person is different, so he tailors a plan based on your needs, goals, and medical history, which may include:
- Diet changes
- Weight loss
- Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption
The ultimate goal is to control your risky medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and sleep apnea to improve your cardiovascular health. Anything you can do to prevent a life-threatening medical issue is a step in the right direction, and Dr. Saint-Jacques comes alongside you for the journey.
To learn more about assessing your stroke risk and taking action, give us a call or click the “Request Appointment” button to schedule a consultation.