SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
RENO, Nev. – Four out of five people who have a stroke have no apparent warning signs prior to their attack. The good news is that 80 percent of strokes can be prevented. One way to prevent a stroke is by identifying the underlying causes of stroke before a stroke happens.
To help raise awareness of these causes and to highlight Stroke Awareness Month, Renown Regional Medical Center is hosting a Life Line Screening event Thursday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1155 Mill Street., in the Mack Auditorium. To pre-register for a screening contact Life Line Screening at www.lifelinescreening.com, or call 1-800-690-0295 to make an appointment. For directions, please dial 775-982-4100.
There are three common causes of stroke, all of which can be identified with proper screening. The screening tests look for these main causes of stroke:
1. Carotid Artery Blockage – The carotid arteries are the main arteries that bring vital oxygenated blood to the brain. Located on both sides of the neck, plaque blockage in these arteries is a leading cause of stroke. Through the use of ultrasound technology, the stroke screening visualizes fatty plaque buildup and measures the velocity of blood flow to the brain.
2. Heart Rhythm (Atrial Fibrillation) – Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of irregular heartbeat. The condition occurs when the heart’s upper chambers beat irregularly and out-of-sync with the heart’s ventricles. This out-of-sync beating hinders the heart from efficiently pumping blood through the heart which can lead to clotting. These blood clots can then travel out of the heart and to the brain, causing a stroke. Atrial fibrillation increases risk of stroke 5 times. We use a painless 4 limb-lead ECG (Electrocardiogram) that can detect this irregular heart rhythm.
3. Systolic hypertension -Systolic hypertension is the top number on a blood pressure reading, and an elevation in this reading indicates a significant risk factor for stroke.
Without preventive procedures, the first sign that something is wrong may be the stroke itself. Preventive screenings can help individuals with no symptoms who are 50 or older (often with significant risk factors such as family history, diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol) be proactive about their health and wellness and protect their independence and vitality.
Other screenings are available including tests for abdominal aortic aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease bone-density, and finger-stick blood tests for cholesterol and glucose.
Life Line Screening was established in 1993, and has since become the nation’s leading provider of preventive screenings, screening about 1 million people each year.