Men and Stroke

Men, why be stroke-aware? Because stroke is the leading cause of death, as well as a leading cause of long-term disability for men. Stroke strikes both males and females, however, men are at a higher risk.

A stroke – or brain attack – occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. And when brain cells are starved of oxygen, they die.

Are you at risk?

These are common risk factors that can lead to stroke.

  • High Blood Pressure – 50% of men in the United States have high blood pressure.
  • Smoking – damages blood vessels, which can lead to stroke.
  • Lack of Exercise – Not getting enough physical activity can lead to other health conditions that can raise the risk of stroke. Approximately 40% of men in the United States do not meet the minimum daily exercise time of 30 minutes.
  • Obesity– 33% of men in the United States are obese or overweight, which can increase stroke risk.
  • Diabetes – increases stroke risk because it can harm blood vessels in the brain. About 1 in 7 men have diabetes.
  • Alcohol – Drinking can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of stroke. It also increases levels of triglycerides, a form of fat in your blood that can harden your arteries.
  • African American Males – are also at higher risk for stroke. More than 1 in 2 have high blood pressure or are taking medicine to control their blood pressure.  Approximately 1 in 9 have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many more have the disease but do not know it.
  • Hispanic Males – almost half of Hispanic men have high blood pressure and are taking medicine to lower blood pressure—a major risk factor for stroke. Additionally, 1 in 7 Hispanic men smoke and are diagnosed with diabetes, and many more have the disease but do not know it.

Be Prepared 

Strokes can be deadly, so it’s important to know the warning signs. To help recognize the key symptoms remember this acronym:  F.A.S.T.E.R. 

F- Face, refers to drooping or numbness on one side of the face versus the other.

A- Arms, refers to arm strength or the feeling of being weaker or numb in one arm.

S- Stability, refers to feet stability and standing ability

T- Talking, refers to speech and the slurring of words

E- Eyes, refers to vision loss, double vision, or partial vision

R- React, refers to calling 911 if you recognize these symptoms

Prevention

With males being at such a high risk for stroke, knowing how to prevent it is your best defense.

  • Talk to your healthcare provider about monitoring your body’s key numbers: blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol/HDL.
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthy
  • Get regular exercise

For more information on our Men’s Health services, visit this page.

Sources: CDC.gov, niddk.nih.gov, stroke.org

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