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Sept. 16: Reducing the risk of a second stroke

September 14, 2011
A presentation of St. Mary's Hospital Stroke Support Group...

Reducing the risk of a second stroke
Friday, September 16
1:00–2:30 pm
St. Mary’s Life Center, Grand Mesa Room, second floor
1100 Patterson Road, Entrance 40
Grand Junction, CO

A pharmacist will provide information and answer questions about risk-reducing medications and lifestyle changes.

A stroke or “brain attack” occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die and brain damage occurs.

Everyone who’s had one stroke, even a so-called mini-stroke, is at high risk for a second. “While some risk factors are out of our control, there are plenty of things we can do to reduce the likelihood of another stroke,” says Kelly Arnold, RN, quality improvement coordinator for stroke care at St. Mary’s.

Medications can lower stroke risk for some people. Prescription drugs may help prevent blot clots from forming, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and help manage diabetes. “It’s important to talk to your doctor to understand your personal risk factors so you can develop a plan to deal with them,” Arnold says.

Healthy living habits go a long way to reducing the risk of having a stroke, first or second. Quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, managing your weight, reducing your alcohol use, and getting regular exercise greatly reduce stroke risk. “These may not be easy things to change, but they have a huge effect on your health, and you don’t have to do it alone,” Arnold says. “Talk to your doctor. Help is available.”

St. Mary’s Stroke Support Group, a free community program, meets the third Friday of every month. Stroke survivors, loved ones, and caregivers always welcome.