Stroke Prevention and Treatment

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital May 31, 2016

Each year, stroke impacts approximately 750,000 to 800,000 individuals in the United States. A leading cause of disability, many stroke survivors are left with significant speech, motor, and memory difficulties. More than half can’t return to work. For American Stroke Month, we’ve gathered our blog posts about stroke prevention, recognition, and treatment.

Stroke-1Do You Know Your Risk of Stroke?

Though you can’t change risk factors such as age, gender, and family history, you can reduce your risk of stroke. Pay attention to health measures (such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and body mass index), eat healthy foods, and develop healthy lifestyle habits (such as exercising regularly for 30 minutes or more each day). Learn more about reducing risk of stroke.


Stroke-2Stroke – Five Things You Need to Know

When it comes to stroke, think FAST. The acronym FAST (face, arms, speech, and time) is a quick way to determine if someone is having a stroke. Difficulty smiling, lifting both arms, and repeating a simple phrase are warning signs of stroke. If you observe these symptoms in someone, note the time and call 911 immediately. Learn more about the symptoms of stroke.

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When Should Blood Pressure Medication be Started?

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 1, 2015

Recent findings may influence how doctors think about high blood pressure management.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is the most common risk factor for heart disease and death worldwide, but key questions about management of hypertension have remained unanswered. In a recent study funded by the Harvard Center for Primary Care and published in the British Medical Journal, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) examined the outcomes of nearly 90,000 adults with hypertension to pinpoint the precise high-blood-pressure level and critical time points at which intervening was tied to a decrease in the risk of death and/or cardiovascular event, such as heart attack or stroke.

“We were the first to look at these metrics in a large group of patients with hypertension, and our findings may help guide doctors as they think about how to treat patients,” says Dr. Alexander Turchin, a physician and researcher in the BWH Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension and senior author of the paper.

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An Orange a Day May Keep Stroke at Bay

Posted by Blog Administrator March 7, 2012

woman eating orange

BWH research finds that eating citrus fruits reduces stroke risk.

Ask your doctor, nurse, nutritionist, or mother, and they’ll all agree: You must eat your fruits and vegetables, at least five servings a day (or “half your plate,” according to new USDA MyPlate guidelines). Of course, they’re right. But it’s also true that not all fruits and vegetables carry the same nutritional value – and some may help more than others in preventing certain diseases.

If this leaves you wondering which fruits and vegetables to include in your five-a-day (or more) mix, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) research provides at least one suggestion: Eat your citrus fruits. According to a recent study, they might reduce your risk of stroke.

BWH and other researchers, led by Dr. Kathryn Rexrode, BWH Department of Medicine, reviewed data from 69,622 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study. Based on questionnaires participants completed during 14 years of follow-up, the researchers were able to track stroke incidence and calculate flavonoid intake. Flavonoids are a type of antioxidant found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, dark chocolate, and red wine.

But just as not all fruits and vegetables are created equal, it turns out that neither are all flavonoids. The researchers discovered that a particular sub-type of flavonoid called flavanone – which are abundant in citrus fruits – seemed to have a protective effect against stroke. Women in the study who consumed large amounts of citrus fruits and juices had a 19 percent reduced risk of ischemic stroke (a type of stroke that happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked).

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