Real Health Podcast: How to prevent and recognise a stroke

Dr John McCabe

It may surprise you, but strokes are one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. They are also very common in Ireland, with one in five people having suffering from a stroke at some time in their life. While most are over 65, they can strike at any age including young people and children.

There’s no doubt that we’ve all heard of strokes, but how much do we know about how they’re caused and what they actually are? This Saturday is World Stroke Day so here on Real Health, we thought it was the perfect week to have a chat about strokes and debunk some myths around them.

I’m joined by Dr John McCabe, consultant geriatrician and stroke physician from the Mater hospital to tell us what we need to know.

John says risk factors we need to be aware of are things like smoking, high cholesterol, low physical activity and diet. While tackling these is a positive at any age, John explains that the things we do when we’re young can play a big part in determining whether we develop heart disease as we get older.

“When we are teenagers the start of the process of atherosclerosis, which is blockage to the arteries, starts when we’re as young as 15 years of age. It’s a cradle to the grave disease. You can do a lot in your early stages of life but in midlife especially, to try and prevent you having heart disease and stroke.”

We also discuss how we can spot the signs of a stroke and how far modern medicine has come in a decade, that means there are now some fantastic treatments available to those who have a stroke.

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The Real Health podcast is in association with Laya Healthcare.