Thinking about stroke prevention when you are planning for New Year’s Eve is probably not at the top of your resolutions list.
However, when you make those sometimes short-lived New Year’s resolutions, consider this: someone in the U.S. has a stroke about once every 40 seconds, and a stroke kills someone about once every four minutes. Importantly, if you are African American, you have nearly twice the risk for a first-ever stroke than a white person, and African Americans have a much higher death rate from stroke.
In addition to smoking, obesity, and family history, there are also several health conditions that can significantly increase your risk of having a stroke. Hypertension is the most recognized risk factor for stroke and diabetes increases your risk of stroke 1.5 times. However, lesser-known conditions such as atrial fibrillation also increase your risk of stroke even more.
Atrial fibrillation (also called AFib) is the most common type of irregular heartbeat and affects more than 5 million Americans. This irregular heartbeat can cause…