Microsoft word - secondary stroke prevention and smoking patient-family informationjan2011.docx
SECONDARY STROKE PREVENTION AND SMOKING Information for Patients and Families
Authors: Sabrina Godbout; Jessica Goldberger; Genevieve Dupont; Sabrina Mansour;
What is secondary stroke prevention?
After a first stroke, the likelihood of experiencing a second stroke increases. There are certain changes an individual can make to his/her lifestyle, to reduce the possibility of a second stroke. How common are second strokes?
The latest statistics show that people who have had a stroke have a 20% higher chance of having another stroke within 2 years, compared to the general population. What is the impact of a second stroke?
Recurrent strokes are more likely to be fatal than first strokes. Each stroke is different and its effects vary from person to person. The functional consequences depend on where the brain was injured and the extent of damage that has occurred. The second stroke will not necessarily occur in the same area of the brain as the first stroke. Secondary Stroke Prevention & Smoking Cessation 1
What are the risk factors for a second stroke?
Secondary stroke risk factors are the same as those for primary stroke. There are preventable as well as uncontrollable risk factors. You have an important role in controlling and reducing preventable risk factors: high blood pressure (hypertension) high blood cholesterol and lipids heart disease type II diabetes being overweight high alcohol consumption physical inactivity smoking stress. Uncontrollable risk factors are: age (over 60) gender family history of stroke ethnicity previous stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). How can I prevent having another stroke?
It is suggested that 80% of secondary strokes can be prevented by a combination of different lifestyle changes and medical intervention (Hackman, 2007). These lifestyle changes include increasing activity level with exercise, smoking cessation, diet modification, and stress reduction. It is important to understand that 20% of strokes cannot be prevented with lifestyle modification due to uncontrollable risk factors. This pamphlet address smoking cessation. Secondary Stroke Prevention & Smoking Cessation
What is the impact of smoking on my health? Smoking is associated with an increased overall morbidity and mortality. It has many negative effects on your health and increases your risk of having a stroke. It has been shown that smoking contributes to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, increases the risk of blood clots, reduces the oxygen in your blood, and increases your blood pressure. This makes your heart work harder, which increases your chances of developing a first stroke as well as a second one. There is strong and convincing evidence that smoking is an independent risk factor for stoke regardless of age, sex, and ethnic group. For more information on smoking and your health visit the Heart & Stroke Foundation's website. Why should I stop smoking? Smoking cessation is one of the most important lifestyle changes to prevent a future stroke. It reduces recurrence of another stroke by 50%. It also enhances your sense of taste and smell, and can improve your overall quality of life. Furthermore, being free from addiction provides a good example for generations to come! I have been smoking for most of my life; will quitting now really have an impact?
Regardless of how long you have smoked, quitting will have a positive impact on your health. Observational studies have shown that your risk of stroke decreases substantially just 5 years after quitting. Quitting smoking is also associated with a reduction of stroke-related hospitalizations, showing its importance in preventing a second stroke. Secondary Stroke Prevention & Smoking Cessation 3
How can I find resources to help me quit? You can discuss your intention to quit smoking with your family doctor, who will be able to provide you with some tips and direct you to useful resources. You are not alone in this process. Your state of mind is very important; just thinking about quitting will put you on the road of success. When attempting to stop smoking try to adopt healthy behaviors such as maintaining a well balanced diet, exercise regime, and stress management skills. You should also access social supports (family, friends, support groups), and ask others not to smoke around you. Medication can also help you succeed (such as bupropion, nicotine replacement therapy, "patches", etc). NOTE: It is important to check with your physician before taking any of these. Some tips to help you quit Think about quitting. List the reasons why you want to quit. Think about why you smoke. Choose a "quit smoking" date. Prepare a "quit smoking" plan. Accept setbacks and learn from them. Be positive. For more information on how to quit see the Public Health Agency of Canada website: www.publichealth.gc.ca What is the impact of second hand smoke? In the presence of second hand smoke, non-smokers as well as smokers inhale thousands of harmful chemicals contributing to the development of different diseases. This smoke causes physical reactions related to heart and stroke disease after only 8 to 20 minutes of exposure. Second hand smoke should be avoided.
Secondary Stroke Prevention & Smoking Cessation TAKING CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH What do I believe caused the stroke?
By now you most likely have been told about the risk factors of stroke and have discussed with your doctor those that most pertain to you. However, you are the one who experienced the stroke, so you might have your own ideas regarding what caused it; whether it was linked to a recent stressful event (such as the death of a family member) or a past event. Your opinions are important and you should openly discuss your concerns with a healthcare professional and your family. How can I get control of the causes?
Once you have identified and discussed the causes, address each of them individually and find ways to gain control so that you can be active in preventing recurrence. The strategies will be different for each cause. The goal is for you to make a plan and take control of your health.
Can medication help in reducing my chances of having another stroke?
Information can be found on medications for secondary stroke prevention at: http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4723
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for
professional medical advice. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly
contact your professional healthcare provider.
Secondary Stroke Prevention & Smoking Cessation 5
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Secondary Stroke Prevention & Smoking Cessation
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