Thursday, December 09, 2010

Message from Kansas...but applicable anywhere

Even as a Missouri resident, I'd take advice from this Kansan. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, M.D., is the Kansas state health officer. He wrote an opinion piece about how stroke prevention starts with you:

Here is the bottom line: After a stroke hits, every minute counts. Time lost is brain lost.

To reduce the chances of being hit by a stroke at all, everyone can take proven steps to lower their risk – starting today. These steps include:

Keeping your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure doubles a person’s chances of stroke compared to having normal blood pressure. Roughly a third of Kansas adults have high blood pressure, and many don’t even know it.

Watching your cholesterol level. About a third of Kansas adults have cholesterol levels that are too high. High cholesterol is associated with blocked arteries in the brain, just as it is linked to blockages in blood flow to the heart.

Being physically active. Moderate activity, like walking for half an hour most days of the week, can have a dramatic effect on lowering stroke risk.

Limiting alcohol consumption. More than one or two drinks a day increases the risk of a stroke, along with heart and liver disease.

Avoiding cigarette smoke. Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, allowing clots to form more easily.

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