Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Moderation in drinking might be linked to stroke risk reduction

One of the repeated themes you'll see here: moderation.

And here's one more reason to repeat it - researchers might link a little alcohol each day to cut your stroke risk:
A research team from England and Sweden reviewed 25 studies as well as national data from Sweden. The investigators reported that consumption of up to two drinks a day was associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain), but appeared to have no effect on the risk of bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke. ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Missing opportunities for stroke prevention

Do you know three people who've had a stroke?

Did one of those three have a missed opportunity to prevent a stroke?

Disturbing research from the United Kingdom suggests "missed opportunities" to prescribe drugs for stroke prevention:
Across the UK, that amounts to 33% of all stroke and 'mini-stroke' (transient ischaemic attack, or TIA) patients having a 'missed opportunity' for preventative treatment.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

America's Stroke Belt and stroke risk factors

Do you live in the "Stroke Belt," or generally the southern/southeastern United States, plus Indiana?

Stroke risk factors - which we've talked about lately, are a big part of the problem. And strokes can hit young people, too, especially in the Stroke Belt. I ran across this story from Memphis about an unlikely stroke victim:
She blacked out. When she came around, her left side was going numb.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Politics aside, cigarette taxes are linked to smoking decline

There's a lot of politics in taxes. So I'll leave lawmakers or voters to decide on cigarette taxes. However, if somehow, someday the tobacco industry grinds to a complete stop, I'll be OK with that.

Regardless of politics, though, check out how smoking declines as cigarette taxes rise:
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped by 8.5 million since 2005 — and that fall could be accelerated by a tobacco tax just passed in California.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

God is with you - even in the dark places

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Ever been in a dark place?

I always associate darkness with my stroke, with a vague recollection of being in a dark room while someone was looking at an image of my brain. I was confused, couldn't speak and couldn't move my right arm or leg.

Dark place indeed.

You likely recognize the verse above from the 23rd Psalm, one of the most often-quoted chapter in the Bible. It begins "The Lord is my shepherd... ." You might be even more familiar with other translations, including the King James version with its famous "valley of the shadow of death" phrase.

Today, though, consider that you have a comforter when you are in the dark. God is with you. You are never alone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Stroke risk factors that need a solution

If you've read much of this blog, you've seen items about smoking, diet and other stroke risk factors. Click here to read a compilation.

But are you always in complete control of those risk factors? Or does just living in a poor neighborhood up stroke risk?:
Women and men of all races in the poorest neighborhoods were more likely to suffer a stroke than those in the richer neighborhoods. This held true even after the researchers adjusted for other factors such as age, race, sex and region of the country.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Cartoonist shares his personal stroke story

Chance are, you have a stroke story, or you know someone who has a stroke story. Every year, thousands of new stroke stories are generated.

The second part of today's news is that the cartoon "Nancy" is still published. I subscribe to two newspapers (yes, actual paper newspapers) and neither publishes "Nancy," which I remember from my youth.

So I almost missed the story of the current "Nancy" cartoonist, who uses his personal story to highlight stroke awareness:
[Guy] Gilchrist credits the minor event in his youth for motivating him to give up his unhealthy, stress-filled “rock-n-roll lifestyle” and go all-in on his craft. A second medical event – perhaps another minor stroke – in his 40s served as a powerful reminder, snapping him back into a healthy lifestyle that he now maintains at age 59.