SALT LAKE CITY — Strokes have gone from being untreatable occurrences that often caused disabilities to being treatable and preventable during Dr. Gregory Call's career of almost 30 years.
It has also become clear that specific lifestyle choices can impact whether a stroke occurs.
Call, a neurologist for the Intermountain Medical Center Stroke Program, and Kelly Anderson, a nurse and coordinator of the Intermountain Medical Center Stroke Program, will be featured on Saturday's Deseret News/Intermountain Healthcare Hotline, where they will take questions about recognizing symptoms of strokes from 10 a.m. until noon. Anyone interested is welcome to call 1-800-925-8177.
Call emphasized the importance of quick action after recognizing the signs and symptoms of a stroke, in order to prevent disability or death.
More than 800,000 people die per year from cardiovascular diseases and strokes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Populations who are at risk for stroke include those who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Those who fall into these categories can reduce their risk.
"It is important to emphasize that there are important self-inflicted behaviors that we try to alter: smoking, too much drinking, too much eating," Call said.
The public should check out any herbs or natural supplements they are taking, as they have been known to increase blood pressure when interacting with medications or each other, he said. A healthy diet, exercise, taking prescribed high blood pressure medication and avoiding recreational drugs will also help reduce stroke risk, said Anderson.
Early on in his career, Call realized that he enjoyed working with stroke patients and thought the work he did gave him insight into the brain and how it functions. As he was told by another doctor, "Neurologists learn neurology stroke by stroke."
The May Deseret News/Intermountain Healthcare Hotline focuses on strokes. From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Kelly Anderson, a nurse and coordinator of the Intermountain Medical Center Stroke Program, and Dr. Gregory Call, a neurologist in the program, will answer questions from the public. Anyone with questions can call 800-925-8177.