February is American Heart Month and RVNAhealth is focusing on cardiovascular health and its impact.

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the U.S., but close behind with significant ties to cardiovascular health, stroke is the 5th highest cause of death.  A stroke occurs once every 40 seconds in the U.S., however, the American Heart Association Stroke Council believes about 80% of strokes are preventable.  Healthy lifestyle choices paired with knowing your heart health can greatly reduce your risk.  Additionally, becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke can significantly improve outcomes.

F.A.S.T. is a widely recognized acronym designed to help recognize and act if a stroke is suspected. F.A.S.T. stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 911. Treatments that work best are typically administered within three hours of first experienced symptoms. Calling an ambulance rather than driving the person to the hospital allows medical professionals to begin treatment immediately.  Thankfully stroke survival and recovery rates have improved significantly over the past decade with medical advances, but time to treatment continues to be a critical factor in success rates.

Although strokes seem sudden and random, they are often caused by underlying health issues that can be addressed with life changes and knowing your health numbers. High blood pressure, for example, is a major risk factor for stroke. RVNAhealth offers numerous ways to help you reduce stroke risk – from our regular free blood pressure clinics, to our on-staff Registered Dietitian assisting with nutrition needs, to our upcoming May 7th RVNAhealth Wellness Fair focused on helping individuals catch up on preventative screenings!

Call us or stop by one of our free upcoming events to stay on top of your own numbers! For more information, visit RVNAhealth at https://rvnahealth.org or call us at 203.438.5555 x4.

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