Having a stroke means greater risk for another (or recurrent) stroke. The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent a recurrent stroke. Here are the facts:
•Approximately 795,000 Americans experience a stroke each year — about 185,000 of those strokes are recurrent strokes.
•At least 1 in 4 (25%-35%) of the 795,000 Americans who have a stroke each year will have another stroke within their lifetime.
•Within 5 years of a first stroke, the risk for another stroke can increase more than 40%.
•Recurrent strokes often have a higher rate of death and disability because parts of the brain already injured by the original stroke may not be as resilient.
•Within 5 years of a stroke, 24 percent of women and 42 percent of men will experience a recurrent stroke.
The National Stroke Association developed the STARS (Steps Against Recurrent Stroke) program with support from Charitable Contributions from the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi Pharmaceuticals Partnership and Allergan, Inc. STARS is a program that focuses on educating and empowering stroke survivors about how — with a doctor’s help and advice — to reduce risk for a recurrent stroke by making lifestyle modifications and managing medical conditions that increase stroke risk. The program has already reached multitudes of survivors and caregivers through educational webcasts, e-mail campaigns and other materials that provide information and helpful tools about how to manage recurrent stroke. Learn more about STARS by contacting National Stroke Association at 1-800-STROKES.
Remember: the most important first step to controlling risk for recurrent stroke is to follow a doctor’s advice. Don’t stop taking medicine unless a doctor advises it. Discuss the risk factors listed above with a doctor to determine personal risk levels. Then, learn how to control and manage those risk factors. Nobody has to have another stroke — take steps toward a preventive lifestyle.