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Arkansas health officials shed light on strategies to prevent strokes

A Healthcare Worker Measuring a Patient's Blood Pressure Using a Sphygmomanometer
Pavel Danilyuk
High blood pressure increases the risk for strokes. Health experts recommend frequent blood pressure checks. The Arkansas Department of Health estimates that 30 people are hospitalized daily for strokes.

State health officials have emphasized that strokes continue to pose a significant health threat in Arkansas, with approximately 30 Arkansans being hospitalized each day due to this condition. Dr. Bala Simon, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the Arkansas Department of Health, has shed light on the risk factors associated with strokes, notably highlighting high blood pressure as a major concern.

According to Dr. Simon, individuals should prioritize their annual physical examinations with their physicians to monitor their blood pressure levels effectively. To further facilitate accessibility, pharmacies like Walgreens and Walmart offer self-checking kiosks for blood pressure monitoring.

"They all have the kiosk where they can check their blood pressure to make sure it is, you know, around 120 over 80," explained Dr. Simon. He emphasized that if an individual's blood pressure exceeds 140 over 90, it becomes a cause for concern, necessitating a conversation with their physician.

Apart from high blood pressure, other risk factors for strokes include A-Fib (atrial fibrillation) and smoking. Dr. Simon recommends adopting a low-sodium diet and undergoing regular blood pressure checks as effective measures to lower the risk of experiencing a stroke.

Dr. Bala Simon stressed that strokes should be approached with a focus on prevention rather than cure. By making lifestyle choices such as avoiding excessive salt intake, following a low-sodium diet, consuming more fruits and vegetables, steering clear of sodas, and quitting tobacco use, individuals can significantly reduce their chances of suffering from a stroke.

More comprehensive information, including prevention techniques and guidelines for recognizing the symptoms of a stroke, can be found on the Arkansas Department of Health's website.

Updated: May 31, 2023 at 10:46 AM CDT
Added a link to the Arkansas Dept. of Health website.
A Northeast Arkansas native from Wynne, I’ve been involved with radio for about 15 years. I got my Bachelor of Arts degree from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, where I also served as an award-winning News Director for 2 years at KSWH-LP.