October 29th is World Stroke Day. Learn more about stroke prevalence and prevention:
- Stroke is the 2nd leading cause of death worldwide, but ranks 5th in the US
- According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), progress in preventing stroke deaths has actually slowed down in 38 states and stroke rates are actually increasing in people living in the South and in Hispanics.1
- Two major studies have shown the value of blood tests for Apolipoprotein B (Apo B) and Apolipoprotein A1 (Apo A1) and found that the Apo B/Apo A1 ratio is an extremely strong predictor of stroke risk. The higher this ratio, the higher the risk.2,3
- The CDC states that 80% of strokes can be prevented! Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., CDC Director, states “The majority of strokes we see are avoidable and we know how to prevent them.”4
- Unhealthy dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles feed the obesity epidemic which is causing more people to develop stroke risk factors such as high blood pressure, abnormal lipids/lipoproteins, and diabetes. Healthy eating choices include lean proteins (including fish and chicken that are low in saturated fat) and eggs (which may reduce stroke risk by 12%)5, low salt/sodium intake, 5 or more fruits and vegetables/day, and calories sufficient to maintain ideal weight.
- High blood pressure, the most important treatable stroke risk factor, unfortunately has no symptoms and often goes undetected/untreated. Atrial Fibrillation and Smoking increase stroke risk.
Prevention is key. However, if signs of stroke occur, stroke death and devastating effects can be prevented if F.A.S.T. action is taken and 911 help arrives within minutes. Remember F.A.S.T. ways to spot stroke signs: F= Face Drooping, A= Arm Weakness on one side, S= Slurred speech, T=Time. Check the time and call 911 to get medical treatment started promptly. Minutes matter. Ideally hospital treatment is provided within a few hours of the first stroke signs.
Lynn Cofer-Chase, MSN, CLS, FAHA, FPCNA, FNLA is a Clinical Lipid Specialist/National Educator for Cleveland HeartLab and part of the Egg Nutrition Center Health Professional Advisory Board.
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital Signs: Recent trends in stroke and death rates – United States, 2000-2015. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 8,2017. 66(35):933-939.
- Walldius, G. et. al. Stroke mortality and the apoB/apoA-1 ratio: results of the AMORIS prospective study. J Internal Med. 2006. 259:259-266.
- O’Donnel, Martin J. et.al. Global and regional effects of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with stroke in 32 countries (INTERSTROKE): a case-controlled study. Lancet. 2016. 338(10046):761-775.
- Brooks, M. Stalled progress on stroke is a ‘wake up’ call. Medscape. Sept. 7, 2017.
- Alexander DD, et. al. Meta-analysis of egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016. 6:1-13.