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Lt Col Reynolds
Strokes are a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, and severe strokes can be deadly.

Lt Col Phillips
That’s right, Dr. Reynolds. When obesity leads to hypertension or dyslipidemia, the risk factors for a stroke increase due to a buildup of plaque in the arteries. An area of plaque can eventually rupture, which causes a blood clot to form. Dr. Bethea, what can you tell us about strokes?

Dr. Bethea
The most common type of stroke is called an ischemic stroke, which is when a blood clot blocks an artery into the brain. Another type of stroke is called a hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by a ruptured blood vessel within the brain.

The result of either type of stroke is that part of the brain dies from lack of blood flow and oxygen. This affects the part of the body that is controlled by the damaged part of the brain. For those who survive, stroke can cause paralysis, affect language and vision, and cause a variety of other problems.

Symptoms of a stroke may include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body. Stroke symptoms also may include sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, sudden vision problems, dizziness, loss of balance, or an abrupt, unusually severe headache. If you, or someone you know, experiences any of these symptoms, this is a medical emergency. Getting immediate care can greatly affect the patient’s long-term outcome of a stroke.

Fortunately, knowing and reducing risk factors, such as high blood pressure, can lower the risk of a stroke. Ask your provider for more information about strokes and their warning signs.