carotid_spcWhat is a stroke?

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel feeding the brain bursts or is clogged, causing a sudden disruption in the blood flow to the brain. 75% of all strokes are caused by blockages in the carotid arteries which are easily detectable using ultrasound.


Risk factors

• High Blood Pressure
• Heart disease
• Smoking
• Excess alcohol use
• High cholesterol
• Diabetes
• Family history
• Obesity
• Physical inactivity

Warning signs and symptoms 

· Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arms, or legs, particularly on one side of the body
· Loss of speech or trouble understanding speech
· Memory loss
· Sudden dimness or loss of vision in one eye or double vision
· Sudden severe acute headache
· Dizziness or loss of balance
· Recent change in personality or mental ability

Stroke Facts 

Stroke is the third leading killer in the United States, resulting in the following statistics annually:

· 730,000 victims
· 160,000 deaths
· 266,000 survivors with permanent disability
· 30,000 new permanent admissions to nursing homes

75% percent of all strokes are related to plaque build up, and more than 50% of stroke victims present no prior warning signs. Once over the age of 55, the risk of stroke doubles every 10 years. Most significantly, 97% of the adult population cannot name a single warning sign of a stroke.

How we can help…

Stroke Screening 

Pacific Health and Wellness offers a carotid vascular test that utilizes ultrasound technology to visualize the buildup of fatty plaques in the carotid arteries that may block the flow of blood to the brain and lead to stroke. The ultrasound screening is a painless, non-invasive and highly accurate method for visualizing plaque buildup and abnormal blood flow.

Additional Stroke Facts

· Stroke is the #1 cause of disability in the United States.

· National Institutes of Health estimate that the number of strokes in the U.S. could be reduced by 70%.

· 50% or more of all strokes give no warning before they strike.

· 75% of all strokes are caused by blockage in the carotid artery.

· Women over 30 who smoke and take high-estrogen oral contraceptives have a stroke risk of 22 times higher than average.

· People with diabetes, especially those who have high blood pressure, are at increased risk for stroke.

· It is the third leading cause of death. Stroke kills nearly 160,000 people each year.

· Stoke incidence among African Americans is almost double that of white Americans.

· For people over 55, the incidence of strokes more than doubles every ten years.

· Nearly 30% of those who suffer a stroke are under age 65.

New England Journal Of Medicine Study
Arteries Show Health Risks

Wall Thickness a Heart Attack, Stroke Risk Indicator
By Katharine Webster
The Associated Press

Jan. 6 —  Thickening of the carotid artery walls in the neck is a more powerful predictor of a heart attack or stroke in elderly people than even high cholesterol or high blood pressure, a study found.

Ultrasound can detect cumulative damage to the blood vessels before the patient experiences any symptoms, said the study’s lead author, Dr. Daniel O’Leary, chairman of radiology at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston.

Dr. Claude Lenfant, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which financed the study, said ultrasound has great potential to prevent heart attacks and strokes in seemingly healthy people.

“By identifying high-risk patients, ultrasound would allow doctors to provide aggressive treatment early,” he said.