Stroke Awareness Month

Prevent stroke with brain basics

Stroke doesn’t discriminate. It’s an assault on the brain or brain attack that happens to people of all ages, even infants and teens.

The good news is that up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. You can significantly reduce your risk for stroke by living a healthy lifestyle and working with your doctor to manage medical conditions. Learn more about stroke by taking the stroke quiz.

Know your numbers 

When you know and manage your numbers, you reduce your risk for stroke. If you have risk factors for stroke, reduce your risk by taking these steps:
  • Manage blood pressure. Aim for 120/80 or less. Lowering your systolic blood pressure by 20 mmHg and your diastolic blood pressure by 10 mmHG decreases your risk for stroke and ischemic heart disease by 50 percent. 
  • Regulate your blood sugar. Ideal blood sugar levels before meals should range from 70 to 110 mg/dL. High blood sugar roughens artery walls, which allows plaque to form and block blood flow. 
  • Eat healthier and stay active. Reserve ½ your plate for fruits and vegetables and ¼ for healthy proteins like fish, poultry and beans. Thirty minutes of exercise 5 times a week helps prevent heart disease and stroke.
  • Lose excess weight. Aim for a healthy BMI (body mass index) between 18.5 and 24.99. BMI is calculated from your weight and height.
  • Lower total cholesterol. We recommend lowering cholesterol levels to: 
    • Total cholesterol to less than 200mg/dL 
    • LDL (bad cholesterol) to less than 100 mg/dL 
    • HDL (good cholesterol) to  greater than 50 mg/dL (women) or greater than 40 mg/dL (men)  
    • Triglycerides to less than 150 mg/dL
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking doubles your risk for stroke. It reduces oxygen in the blood, causing the heart to work harder and allowing blood clots to form more easily. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. 

Two and a half years ago, Molly Ogden was getting ready for school when she suffered a massive stroke. Today, Molly has far exceeded her physician’s expectations, and her positive attitude continues to drive her recovery. Read her story.

To learn more about stroke, speak with your doctor or call us at 913-588-1227.

Spot a stroke and act FAST

Stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention. If you think you or a loved one is having a stroke, call 911 immediately. Learn to identify stroke signs, symptoms and risks.

Exceptional stroke care 24/7

The University of Kansas Hospital is recognized nationally as an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. Our board-certified neurointensive physicians provide round-the-clock exceptional treatment that leads to better patient outcomes and fewer complications.

We were one of the first healthcare facilities in the nation to be named an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. This designation recognizes our resources, staff and excellent outcomes in the care of stroke patients.

Trust the region’s leading stroke care team at The University of Kansas Hospital. Because when a stroke happens, every second counts.

To learn more, speak with your doctor or call us at 913-588-1227.

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Physician Spotlight


Steven Lemons, MD

Clinical Focus
Interventional Radiology