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May is stroke awareness month

Are you at risk for a stroke or abdominal aortic aneurysm, and don?t know it? Did you know that most people have no prior warning signs? Are you over 40? Do you have a family history of heart disease, stroke or aneurysm? Are you overweight or exercise less than three times per week? Do you have a history of smoking? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be a candidate for a ten minute health screening that could save your life.
May is stroke awareness month, and a community health screening has been scheduled at The Church of the Good Shepherd on Monday, May 12. The tests that will be provided include: carotid artery ultrasound (prevent a stroke); abdominal aortic aneurysm (doppler ultrasound screening); peripheral arterial disease (early heart disease screening); and osteoporosis (bone density screening for men and women).
?The National Stroke Association takes this month to really emphasize the risk factors and warning signs and the different ideas of preventing the stroke and being aware of it,? said public relations correspondent Paula Mopolik. ?Most people who have a stroke aren?t even aware to identify the warning signs of a stroke.?
For this reason, there are more than a hundred health service coordinators throughout the country working to make as many people in every community aware that a stroke is a risk factor and that screening is available to interested individuals.
?Over half the people who have a stroke don?t ever show a warning sign or symptom prior to the stroke occurring,? said Mopolik. ?Unless a person shows a symptom or warning sign, their physician will not be able to order the screenings and have their insurance cover them.?
Unfortunately, most people aren?t even aware that they have symptoms of a stroke until it?s too late. The benefit of the health screening is that people who get tested can find out if they have symptoms of a stroke and then go to their doctor for care.
?We are in no way trying to take the place of their doctor. We are providing a screening service and then they can take these results to their doctor for follow-up care,? said Mopolik.
All tests are painless and take approximately 10 minutes. The test results will be sent back to each person and referred back to his/her own doctor. The cost is $45 per test and $99 for three tests. Appointments are limited and required. Call 1-800-643-6075 to schedule for an appointment or for more information on the community health screening at The Church of the Good Shepherd or other screenings in the area.