GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - A new year means it's time to make healthy lifestyle change that can reduce your risk of a stroke.
Dr. Diego Condes, a vascular neurologist at Vidant Medical Center, says stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in North Carolina, with rates even higher throughout the east.
While strokes, typically affect people 50 or older, but lifestyle habits can impact your chances.
There are two types of strokes: a lack of blood flow to an area of the brain that causes that area of the brain to die or an excess of blood flow that creates a hemorrhage.
To prevent either type, Dr. Condes says to watch your diet. In ENC, barbecue and collard greens are a common dinner staple, but they are high in fat and sodium, which can contribute to high blood pressure and stroke.
Dr. Condes says that doesn't mean you have to cut those foods out of your diet altogether, but make sure you're keeping a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Some of the warning signs of a stroke include: losing balance, vision, drooping of the face, losing function in the arms and slowed speech or movement.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke, get medical help immediately.