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AHA survey finds only 25% survivors feel confident in preventing another stroke

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Dr KK Aggarwal    14 October 2017

Results from a new survey conducted by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) show that stroke survivors have low confidence in their ability to prevent another stroke. The survey, which included 1,129 adult participants (survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals) nationwide, was conducted as part of the American Stroke Associations Together to End Stroke® second stroke awareness campaign. The specific goals of the campaign include: • Reducing stroke reoccurrence• Reducing 30-day hospital readmission• Increasing stroke patient knowledge of risk factors• Educating about healthy lifestyle changes and medication adherence• Educating about rehabilitation options and benefits Exercising regularly was reported as the biggest challenge by Survivors (23%). The most common changes that survivors made to their lifestyle since their stroke are taking recommended medication (83%) and taking aspirin daily (63%). Only half of Survivors and Caregivers (49%) were aware of FAST. Both Survivors and Caregivers view high blood pressure as the most important factor putting someone at risk for a second stroke (58% and 59%, respectively). Most strokes, including recurrent stroke are preventable. Physical activity, healthy eating, adherence to prescribed medications along with stroke rehabilitation can prevent another stroke. Educating patients about the risk factors and the necessary lifestyle changes enables patients to take control of their health. The need for regular check-ups and necessity of compliance to the prescribed treatment must also be explained to them. A doctor has to encourage his/her patient at every step and support them in their struggle to cope with the illness and not be judgement or critical of occasional slip ups. This gives confidence to not only to the patient but also the caregivers so that they are better equipped to prevent a second stroke. (Source: AHA News Release, October 12, 2017)

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