Reducing the risk of strokes

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According to, nearly 795 thousand strokes occur in the U.S. every year, and they kill more than 140 thousand people.

But a new study suggests that you might be able to reduce the risk earlier.

Millions of people live with atrial fibrillation, leaving them at risk for more problems.

But can something be done to reduce your risk?

One of the leading causes of a stroke is irregular heartbeat, or AFib, which up to 6.1 million people live with in the U.S.

David Delurgio, MD, Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine says, “some studies have suggested that the lifetime risk of having at least one episode of atrial fibrillation is one in four.”

Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke. But knowing someone has AFib early might pose an advantage.

“Is this patient at risk of a stroke? If so, we’ll typically treat that patient with a blood thinner, ” continues Doctor Delurgio.

Blood thinners reduce the risk of stroke from four to one percent and the risk of death decreases from seven to four percent.

So why not screen for the heart condition?

A group of experts recently debated the topic and concluded that while this could maximize treatment, the risk would be misdiagnosing a patient causing someone to bleed or have unnecessary discomfort.

If you want to start checking your heartbeat yourself, you can download the Fibricheck app on your smart phone which uses your camera to detect irregular heartbeats.

If you have an apple watch download the Kardia app and get a Kardiaband which is an FDA approved device that senses your heartbeat.

Cardiacsense is another app that will send your ECG to your doctor when it is irregular.

This app is still waiting to be approved by the FDA.

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