• Heart and Vascular Disease

    Stroke Risk Factors

    You don’t have to be old to have a stroke. Anyone can have one. But some people are more at risk than others.

    What is Cardiovascular Disease?

    Cardiovascular disease refers to a broad range of diseases that cause narrowing of the blood vessels or weaken the artery walls, resulting in disruptions in efficient blood flow. Included under the broad umbrella of cardiovascular disease are coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD), renal (kidney) artery disease, heart failure and high blood pressure. While these conditions may affect different parts of the body, they often share the same underlying cause: atherosclerosis (pronounced ath-row-sklee-rosis), or “hardening” of the arteries.

    Women and Stroke

    Stroke, the leading cause of disability in the U.S., like heart disease, is also a disease shared by women. Twice as many women will die of stroke than breast cancer each year. According to the National Women’s Health Information Center, experts believe that as many as 80 percent of strokes could be prevented.

    Treatment Options for Carotid Artery Disease

    For the last 50 years, a diagnosis of narrowing, or stenosis, in the carotid arteries would most likely result in a recommendation of surgery to prevent stroke. Surgery to remove plaque from the carotid arteries, called a carotid endarterectomy, is still a viable and life-saving procedure that is performed today. However, now more than ever, physicians have latitude to assess the degree of narrowing in the arteries, the age of the patient, and other factors to determine the best course of treatment.

    Stroke

    Every second counts if you or someone you love is having a stroke. A stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment. Just a few hours can make the difference between recovery or learning to walk and talk all over again—or worse still—death. This section can help you identify the symptoms and causes of stroke and learn what is involved in preventing, diagnosing, and treating strokes.