Aging Well Journal Newsletter – July 2014 – AW Health Care

African American Couple

Aging Well Health Care says, ” Be AWake to stroke risk and high blood pressure.”

A stroke occurs when a clogged or burst artery interrupts blood flow to the brain. This deprives the brain of needed oxygen. Consequently, affected brain cells die and brain damage occurs. When brain cells dies, body functions are impaired or lost all together! A stroke can cause paralysis or muscle weakness, loss of feeling, vision, speech, language and swallowing problems, memory loss, cognitive problems, coma and even death. Strokes are very serious. Some people recover completely, but 2/3 of survivors have some permanent damage.

Stroke is a leading cause of death and adult disability!

Am I At Risk?

Everyone has some stroke risk. Being over 55 and male is a risk factor that cannot be controlled. But stroke is more common in women and African Americans at older ages. Having diabetes is also a risk factor.

TIA (Mini Stroke)

Transient ischemic attacks are called “mini strokes”. These are more common at older ages, and 40% of all people who have had a TIA will experience a stroke.

Other Stroke Risk Factors

If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, atrial fibrillation or carotid artery disease, you are at risk. If you smoke or drink too much alcohol, you are also at risk. You can reduce your risk by quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, exercising and watching what and how much you eat.

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps. It is measured as “systolic” (when the heart is pumping) and “diastolic” (when the heart rests between pumps). High blood pressure can lead to stroke and other serious medical problems like coronary heart disease and kidney failure. About 1 in 3 people have high blood pressure.

 blood pressure cuff



(Top Number)


(Bottom Number)






120 – 139


80 – 89

High Blood Pressure Stage 1

140 – 159



High Blood Pressure Stage 2





Up to 80% of strokes are preventable; you can prevent a stroke!

When you have high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s treatment plan and lead a healthy lifestyle. If you have questions about your blood pressure, call the AW nurse on duty. Her number is (314) 330-7992.


F  A  S  T

Few know the signs of stroke. Learn them. Act FAST when they occur. Call 911 immediately. Two million brain cells die every minute during a stroke. Acting quickly can save your or your loved one’s life. Use the FAST test to recognize the signs of stroke.

F = FACE Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?

A = ARMS Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S = SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Is the speech slurred or strange?

T = TIME If you observe any of these signs (independently or together), call 9-1-1immediately.


Blood Pressure Medicines

Today’s blood pressure medicines can safely help control blood pressure. These medicines are easy to take. The side effects, if any, tend to be minor. Some medicines remove extra fluid and salt from the body to lower blood pressure. Others slow down the heartbeat or relax and widen blood vessels. Often, two or more medicines work better than one.

 If you have side effects from your medicines, talk with your doctor or health care professional. AW Health Care can help! Call (314) 726-5600

Comments are closed.