Health

3 Ways to Prevent a Stroke

There are three things you can do to prevent a stroke.

You’ve probably heard the advice before, but may not know it goes for stroke as well.

  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Don’t smoke

If you do these three things on a regular basis, you are greatly diminishing your risk of having a stroke. 

“Stroke is a critical health issue in San Diego County,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who was joined by San Diego Padres representatives and local health officials at Petco Park Friday to promote Strike Out Stroke Night at Petco Park taking place at the team’s game April 25 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Working with our many public and private partners, we want to increase awareness of stroke and ultimately eliminate it from our communities.”

Stroke can be prevented. That is why, for the fourth year in a row, the County is partnering with the San Diego Padres and the Stroke Consortium to raise awareness about stroke and the negative impact this disease is having in the region. Stroke survivors, family members and friends will also be present at the game.

This effort is part of the County’s Live Well San Diego vision of safe, healthy and thriving residents and communities.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and kills over 1,000 San Diegans every year. In 2013, there were 1,114 stroke deaths in San Diego County. There were also 1,730 emergency room visits and 6,611 hospitalizations due to stroke.

Fortunately, deaths, emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to strokes have declined in the last few years. Local health officials aim to keep driving the number of deaths down and make San Diego a stroke-free zone by raising awareness about the warning signs and symptoms of stroke.

“The physicians and patients of San Diego have greatly benefited from the San Diego Stroke Consortium.  The Consortium fosters communication and collaboration amongst all major stroke centers in San Diego which allows for exceptional care and best practice across the county,” said Dr. Royya Modir, San Diego County Stroke Consortium representative.

If you or someone near you is having a stroke, it is extremely important that you act F.A.S.T. and call 9-1-1 immediately. F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of stroke and stands for:

  • FACE: Is a side of the face droopy or is it numb? Is the smile uneven?
  • ARM & LEG: Is there weakness, numbness, difficulty walking?
  • SPEECH: Is there slurred speech? Does the person have difficulty speaking?
  • TIME: Time is critical. If you notice any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 immediately.

“Knowing the risks and signs of a stroke can make the difference between life and death,” said Nick Macchione, director of the County Health and Human Services Agency. “If you recognize the warning signs of a stroke, you can get medical help immediately, which is crucial.”

José A. Álvarez is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact