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Knowledge about strokes can save lives

May 24, 2004|by Cheryl Frushour

Washing the dishes take about 15 minutes; walking the dog takes about 30 minutes; mowing the lawn takes about 40 minutes. However, losing someone special in your life to a stroke only takes an instant.

Time spent learning about strokes is a good investment.

Each year, about 700,000 people have a stroke. About 500,000 are first-time attacks, and 200,000 are recurrent attacks. Yet a recent poll showed less than 42 percent of people in the United States know one of the five warning signs of stroke, and only 39 percent said they will seek out information on stroke.

Risk for stroke increases as people age, but high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol levels and excessive drinking are risk factors that can be controlled or eliminated. You can increase your knowledge of the warning signs of stroke and participate in a free screening to learn if you are at risk for stroke.

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Free stroke screenings will be provided Wednesday, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following Hagers-town locations: Martin's Food Markets on Dual Highway and in the Fountainhead Shopping Center, and at Target near Valley Mall. Screenings will take place near the pharmacy in each location. On Thursday, May 27, free stroke screenings will be provided at Robinwood Medical Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the atrium, near the fountain.

Get the facts on stroke. Knowing the risk factors and recognizing the warning signs of stroke can save lives. Time is crucial when dealing with stroke.

For more information on stroke screenings, call 301-790-8521. For information on stroke, go to www.stroke

association.org on the Web or call

1-888-4-STROKE.




Cheryl Frushour is a clinical dietitian and stroke team member at Washington County Hospital.

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