Matthews event to highlight risk factors for all ages
by Kara Lopp
Think you’re too young to have a stroke? Think again.
Though the majority of stroke victims are older than 60, Dr. Jodi Dodds hopes a May 23 event in Matthews will alert residents that strokes aren’t just a concern for seniors. A vascular neurologist with the Presbyterian Neurology Center and medical director of the Presbyterian Neuroscience Institute, Dodds will be among the health-care professionals on hand during StrokeSmart, a health expo and luncheon planned in honor of stroke awareness month. The expo and luncheon, which will feature free health screenings, will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Levine Senior Center, 1050 Devore Lane in Matthews. Admission and lunch are free but advanced registration is required.
Noting that she’s currently treating a 25-year-old stroke victim, Dodds said people need to understand that many of the risk factors for stroke affect patients of all ages. In fact, Dodds is in the process of forming a stroke support group targeting younger patients. People who smoke, have an irregular heartbeat or have high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol are at high risk for a stroke. And studies show that those who suffer from sleep apnea or migraine headaches, especially those who see flashes of light or wavy lines during a migraine, are also at high risk, Dodds said. Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the nation and a leading cause of disability.
“There are very large numbers of younger people having strokes,” she said. “We want to make people aware that certain risk factors that may seem benign on a day-to-day basis because they don’t cause pain, are very serious risk factors for stroke. I would love to see younger folks” at the May 23 event.
Want to go?
The StrokeSmart health expo and luncheon will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Levine Senior Center, 1050 Devore Lane in Matthews, on Wednesday, May 23. Admission and lunch are free but advanced registration is required.
To register, call 704-384-2273 (CARE).
These symptoms could be a sign of a stroke and require immediate medical attention:
• Facial droop
• Slurred speech
• Difficulty talking or understanding
• Weakness or numbness on one side the body
• Sudden vision loss
• Sudden severe headache