Parish Nurse Corner Feb-Mar-Stroke Risk

Stroke Risk

To reduce your risk of stroke:  1)  Know your blood pressure.    2)  Find out whether you have atrial fibrillation.    3)  If you smoke, stop.    4)  Find out if you have high cholesterol.    5)  If you are diabetic, follow recommendations to control your diabetes.    6)  Include exercise in your daily routine.    7)  Enjoy a lower-sodium (salt), lower-fat diet.

Act FAST and Call 911 immediately at any sign of a stroke:

            F—Face:  Ask the person to smile.  Does one side of the face droop?

A—Arms:  Ask the person to raise both arms.  Does one arm drift downward?

S—Speech:  Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?

T—Time:  If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately.

If possible, document the time of the stroke to assist medical personnel in determining whether the patient can receive the “clot-busting medication.”

Stroke Risk Scorecard

Each box that applies to you equals 1 point.  Total your score at the bottom of each column and compare with the stroke risk levels shown here.  > means greater than; < means lesser than.

Risk results totals for each column:  High Risk >3:  Ask about stroke prevention right away.  Caution 4-6:  A good start.  Work on reducing risk.  Low risk 6-8:  You’re doing very well at controlling stroke risk!


Risk Factor High Risk Caution Low Risk
Blood Pressure □>140/90 or unknown □120-139 / 80/89 □<120/80
Atrial Fibrillation □Irregular heartbeat □I don’t know □Regular heartbeat
Smoking □Smoker □Trying to quit □Nonsmoker
Cholesterol □>240 or unknown □200-239 □<200
Diabetes □Yes □Borderline □No
Exercise □Couch potato □Some exercise □Regular exercise
Diet □Overweight □Slightly overwt. □Healthy weight
Stroke in family □Yes □Not sure □No
TOTAL SCORE □High Risk □Caution □Low risk