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Annie Sanford, RN, BSN

Annie Sanford, RN, BSN

Stroke Clinical Effectiveness Coordinator

Annie is a Stroke Clinical Effectiveness Coordinator for the Stroke Program at Swedish. Annie and her team are responsible for maintaining excellent stroke patient care and providing education and outreach programs. Her goal is to help raise awareness of stroke prevention and treatment throughout the community to reduce the impact of stroke on disability and death.

Blog Posts by Annie Sanford, RN, BSN

Manage diabetes to help prevent stroke

Did you know that 6.2 million people in the U.S. are unaware that they have diabetes?

Stroke risk is two-and-a-half times higher in people with diabetes compared to those without diabetes and, in combination with heart disease, is the #1 cause of death and disability.

Here are some tips to help optimize your health:

  • Does anyone in your family have diabetes?  Talk to your healthcare provider, it may be necessary for you to be tested regularly. They will also have information about lifestyle changes that may help you stay healthy.
  • Do you have diabetes yourself?  Work with your healthcare provider to ....

Living with stroke - resources and support

If your life has been touched by stroke, one of the greatest resources you can connect with is your local stroke support group. 

There are many benefits of joining a stroke support group, including the opportunity to:

  • Socialize in a relaxed environment – feeling connected to a community is incredibly important after a stroke.  Isolation can be a significant contributor to depression and deteriorating condition.
  • Share your stories, setbacks, and achievements – the connections you establish within a stroke support group are great resources for encouragement and advice.  These relationships are also important in challenging you to push forward, continuing to work towards complete recovery.
  • Learn something new – education provided at stroke support group events can be priceless!  There is an incredible amount of information regarding navigating life after stroke and this is a wonderful venue to hear information and ask questions.  Common topics of discussion include:

Manage Cholesterol to Prevent Stroke

Next time you think about burgers and fries, think about this: these and some other foods are high in saturated fat and can cause arteries to become blocked through the gradual build-up of cholesterol, also known as plaque.

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy fat (lipid) that is required for the body to form cell membranes, some hormones and vitamin D. However, excess cholesterol or frequent consumption of saturated and trans fats can cause trouble. Cholesterol is made within the body and can also be ingested in some foods, such as eggs, meats and dairy products.

Cholesterol or plaque build-up in the arteries can block normal blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans have elevated cholesterol levels, with 63% of those individuals unaware of their status. 

Here are some facts you should remember to help prevent stroke:

Control your blood pressure to prevent stroke

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a leading risk factor for stroke. Yet, more than 1 in every 3 adults in the Northwest has been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Here are some things you can do:
  • Visit your healthcare provider:  Have your blood pressure checked at least once a year – more often if you have a history of high blood pressure, have heart disease, have diabetes, or are overweight. 
  • Get involved:  If you have high blood pressure it's important to work with your provider to improve your health.  This may include changes in diet, exercise, and medications.  Implement changes incrementally for success!
  • Know your family medical history:  If high blood pressure runs in your family, it’s important to ...
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