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Posts Tagged ‘stroke screenings’

Stroke Dangers in the ER

May 15, 2014

Stroke affects 795,000 per year in the United States, meaning that one person has a stroke every 40 seconds. While 88% of stroke patients do not get a warning, research from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore says that early warning signs of stroke are being missed by doctors in the emergency room for those who do get a warning.


How Strokes Are Misdiagnosed

12.7% of patients treated for stroke were originally misdiagnosed by the physician in the ER and returned later. Doctors confused early warning signs with other, less threatening conditions. Headaches and dizziness are symptoms of stroke, but also ear infections and migraines.

Based on this study, researchers believe that anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people are injured by a misdiagnosed stroke each year. However, certain factors seem to increase the risk of being misdiagnosed in the study:

• Women were 33% more likely to have a misdiagnosis
• Minorities were 20-30% more likely to have symptoms ignored
• Patients under age 45 had the highest risk


How You Can Detect Stroke

The more you know, the better off you are. Detecting a stroke early or before it happens give the patient the best chance at a full recovery. Early warning signs for stroke include:

• Numbness/Weakness of Extremities
• Confusion
• Blurred Vision
• Dizziness
• Loss of Balance
• Severe Headache
• Difficulty Speaking
• Face Drooping

Certain risk factors for stroke are preventable, other are determined by family history, race, age and gender.

Concerned about your risk for stroke? Annual stroke screenings are recommended for anyone over age 50, or if you have risk factors, age 40. We offer five screenings to help you understand your personal risk. Schedule your preventive stroke screening with us online today.

Win a FREE Stroke Screening During National Stroke Awareness Month

May 1, 2014

Today is the first day of May, so at Life Line Screening we are kicking off National Stroke Awareness Month in a BIG way.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, making it a serious condition. Studies show that almost 80% of all strokes are preventable and nearly 85% of all strokes that occur show NO warning signs.

So to promote National Stroke Awareness Month and to raise awareness, we are giving away five stroke screenings for FREE. Want to increase your chances of winning? Share the infographic below,  follow us on social media and refer a friend – you’ll earn extra chances to win a free stroke screening package. Winners will be announced in June.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

High Blood Pressure and Stroke Risk

April 24, 2014

A new study conducted by a research team shows that even blood pressure that is slightly higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as high blood pressure, can increase the risk for stroke.

Normal blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg and the threshold for high blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg. Blood pressure numbers that reside in between the two can have a negative impact on health.


Blood Pressure Study

Nineteen studies involving more than 19,000 participants were conducted to study the effects of blood pressure and stroke. The findings of the study showed that participants who had what was classified as prehypertension were 66% more like likely to have a stroke when compared to those with a normal blood pressure. In addition, close to 20% of strokes that occurred over the course of the study were suffered by participants who had prehypertension.

The section of participants who had prehypertension were classified into two different groups, high (130/85 mmHg) and low (lower than the high but above the norm). Those in the high group were 95% more likely to suffer a stroke than those with normal blood pressure. Participants with low prehypertension were 44% more likely to have a stroke than those with blood pressure at normal levels.


Blood Pressure and Stroke Prevention

The Center for Disease Control states that 1 in 3 Americans have prehypertension, so not only preventing stroke but also prehypertension is extremely important.

The best way to prevent high blood pressure is by following a healthy diet and exercise plan. Following a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, as well as being low in saturated fats and cholesterol has the ability to lower blood pressure by as much as 14mmHg.

The same goes for preventing stroke, since high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and poor diet are all risk factors.

If you are worried about high blood pressure and stroke we offer health screenings for both. Check our stroke page and high blood pressure page  for more information on who should get a screening, how often they should be performed, and a full list of risk factors.  

New Stroke Prevention Guidelines Designed for Women

March 13, 2014

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have released new guidelines specifically geared toward women to prevent stroke. Women and men have similar risk factors, but women have separate issues that relate to hormonal factors and lifestyle choices.

Each year, there are 800,000 strokes and more than half of these occur in women. It is the third leading cause of death for women in the United States, with 3.8 million women living after suffering one.

It is recommended that anyone over the age of 50 or anyone over the age of 40 with risk factors should have a stroke screening annually. For a full list of risk factors visit our stroke screening and symptoms page  and schedule a screening online with us today.


Women’s Stroke Risks

Certain risk factors are higher in women than they are in men; these include high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, emotional stress, depression and migraine with aura. The new guidelines highlight women’s risk factors and how to lower and treat them.

  • Women who have a history of high blood pressure before they become pregnant should be considered for a low-dose aspirin and/or a calcium supplement therapy to lower their pre-eclampsia risk.
  • Women who have pre-eclampsia have double the risk of stroke and four times the risk for developing high blood pressure. Be proactive with your doctor and discuss a stroke risk assessment.
  • Women should be screened for high blood pressure before starting a birth control regimen, the combination of the two raises stroke risk.
  • Women who suffer from migraine headaches with aura and smoke should quit to avoid a higher stroke risk.
  • Women over the age of 75 should have an atrial fibrillation screening since it is linked to a high stroke risk.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle and participate in regular physical activity with a diet high in vegetables, fruits, grains, olive oil and low in saturated fat.


Recognize a Stroke Using F.A.S.T.

Around 30% of people who suffer a stroke have a permanent disability after. These disabilities range from an inability to speak, unable to walk and affect cognitive abilities. Identifying a stroke as soon as it happens can help ensure that the patient gets the treatment they need as soon as possible. Here are the signs to look for:

Face drooping: Look for one side of their face that is drooping down or ask if it is numb. You can tell by asking the person to smile.

Arm weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask them to raise both of the arms up, watch for one arm to drift down.

Speech difficulty: Is speech slurred or are they unable to speak? Ask them to repeat a simple sentence, and check to make sure they say it correctly.

Time to call 911: If they are showing any of these symptoms call 911 and get them to a hospital, even if some of these symptoms go away.

A Review of Carotid Artery Screening: The Benefits and Risks

September 12, 2013

To treat a condition, it first needs to be detected.

That’s the message in a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “A Common Test to Screen for Stroke Risk is Under Review”. The article, written by Laura Landro, takes a look at the pros and cons of carotid artery ultrasound, like the one provided by Life Line Screening.

The 2007 recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against screening patients without symptoms of disease has gained much attention in recent years. However, this article notes that since its establishment five years ago, stating that the evidence has become quite outdated. Because of this, the task force is now reviewing that recommendation.


A Living Example

Ken Goins, a Life Line Screening participant, is featured in the article. After participating in a carotid artery screening that revealed an 85 percent blockage in his left carotid artery, Goins underwent a carotid endarterectomy. This surgical procedure removed the plaque in his artery and restored normal blood flow to lower risk of stroke.

Goins, now 70, is a firm believer that the carotid artery screening saved his life.

“This is the best birthday present anyone could receive, which is their life,” Goins told his wife after his life-saving treatment.

USPSTF representative Dr. LeFevre points out in the article that the ultrasound testing for carotid artery disease itself is not dangerous. Rather, the concern lies in the follow-up process – a much larger, systemic problem of appropriate medical management.

For example, one of the primary concerns pertaining to carotid artery screenings is on the events following the screening that can “do more harm than good.” This includes follow-up testing involving an angiogram to confirm the findings of the screening. The angiogram uses a dye that can actually put patients at higher risk of stroke. Angiograms with large amounts of dye, however, are no longer commonly performed.

Furthermore, controversy has surrounded carotid artery screening because of the risks associated with surgery as a form of treatment. The surgery itself has been linked to a 3 percent rate of stroke or death within 30 days.

“Most patients who have a blockage don’t go on to surgery,” Dr. Andrew Manganaro, Life Line Screening’s chief medical officer, said in the article. “Rather, they are managed with drug therapy and lifestyle changes. A positive test in one of [our] screenings would generally lead to a second ultrasound, not directly to surgery.”

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal now.


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