My Family Story: Strokes
Last week I wrote a post about the fact that I no longer believe in resolutions and that I didn’t have any for 2013, except for continuing to do better in all areas of my life. Now, while I don’t have any resolutions my resolve to focus on my overall health and wellness is stronger then ever before.
Recently my aunt (my Mom’s oldest sister) had two strokes days apart. She is currently bedridden and can’t do anything for herself. Of course this is devastating for my family, but we’re thankful that she is alive and alert. However, she is now physically disabled.
A few days later my sister called me at work and brought to my attention the fact that with the exception of my mom, all of my aunts (my mom’s sisters have had strokes (three of them). This really struck a cord with me. In doing some research around whether strokes are hereditary, I learned that genetics definitely plays a big part in your risk for strokes, along with your overall lifestyle as well as other factors.
So, while my sisters and I may not definitely have a stroke, our family history puts us at a higher risk.
In addition to my current family history of strokes, I am an African-American woman, and strokes are one of the leading causes of death among African-American women. According to Everydayhealth.com, strokes are the third leading causes of death for African-American women. In the same article on Everydayhealth.com, Overall African-Americans suffer more strokes than any other group of people. “There are statistics showing that [they] have about twice the mortality of stroke than Caucasians,” explains Ralph L. Sacco, MD, neurologist-in-chief at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Fla., and spokesperson for the American Stroke Association.”
Needless to say between my aunt and the risk factors for African-American women, the need for me to get healthy and reach my optimal weight is key. While there are many causes that lead to strokes, lifestyle is a key factor and that’s something that I can control. I have come along way the past few years with my health and weight, but I know that there’s more work to be done and I am ready and so focused and determined to get healthy. I am also determined to help the African-American community however I can to get healthy. The numbers and statistics with all the ailments that affect African-Americans are truly devastating.
Are you aware of your family’s medical history?