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What You Need To Know About Your Stroke Risk

The world was saddened this week with the shock passing of 90210 and Riverdale star, Luke Perry. The 52-year-old actor suffered a stroke last week but was thought to be recovering. Sadly, news of his passing reached media outlets on Monday. As tributes pour in for the dad-of-two, the subject of strokes has come to the forefront of our minds. Most of us might assume that strokes are something that happens primarily to the elderly, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the US, and it’s on the rise in younger adults.

While Perry’s death has devastated his fans, friends, and family who will miss him dearly, it’s opened up the conversation on a serious health issue that isn’t spoken about enough. Let’s go over a few important pieces of information that might make a difference in your life.

RELATED: Luke Perry Star Of ‘90210’ And ‘Riverdale,’ Dies At 52

Who is at risk?

The Stroke Center says that 75% of people who suffer from strokes are over the age of 65, with the risk doubling each decade after the age of 55. Further research suggests that younger adults between the ages of 35-44 are more at risk now than ever before.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute say the potential for a stroke is higher in young men than young women, but there are other factors outside of age to consider. Lifestyle can play a huge part. Smokers are more likely to have a stroke, as are those who drink too much alcohol and use drugs.

What Are The Symptoms?

Credit: iStock / seb_ra

Catching a stroke early can have a huge impact on a person’s recovery. Some people may suffer minor strokes at home but put it down to nothing but a “funny few minutes.” Knowing the symptoms can help you keep yourself and those you know safe. The National Stroke Association dub the signs of stroke “suddens.”

If you or anyone you love experiences the following, it’s important to call 911 as soon as possible, even if they urge you not to; numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, trouble speaking, trouble seeing, trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance, or a sudden severe headache with no known cause.

How can the risk be reduced?

While strokes are often a sudden occurrence, there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk of having one. According to Harvard Health, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Staying at a healthy weight and sticking to the recommended daily amount of alcohol are two big factors. Eating a healthy diet that doesn’t include a lot of saturated fats, sugar and cholesterol. Exercising regularly will also help your body stay in tip-top shape.

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