Stroke

A stroke is a serious medical crisis that occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, and it can cause significant impairment or mortality among those who experience one.

Recent statistics indicate that almost 800,000 people in the US will have a stroke every year, and that over one in four adults will have a stroke in their lifetime. Timely recognition and treatment is often imperative to minimize a stroke’s permanent effects.

A variety of experts and individuals with personal experiences share information on social media about how to recognize the signs of a stroke, how to recover after having a stroke, and how to engage in stroke prevention. What are they saying?

Search Trends

The Trends Section provides an overview of some of the most recent and relevant topics that relate to particular health conditions.

It features a selection of the topics that have the fastest growing Google search interest across the last three months, and reflects the inquiries of patients, healthcare providers, scientists, and others who are invested in the topic.

This is valuable to understand people’s interests and concerns at the present moment, and often include the U.S. states that have the highest interest in a topic. 

Quilt.AI brings these trends to life through an analysis that incorporates both cultural and scientific lenses.

What comes up when people search for drugs to treat stroke?

What is trending on search for stroke?

Search interest for `foods that prevent strokes’ increased by 22% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

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1. Preventing strokes by eating right

Research suggests that a healthy diet reduces the risk of developing medical conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, and coronary artery disease — all of which are known to increase chances of having a stroke[1]

Besides one’s genetic makeup, lifestyle factors such as fitness and eating habits play a significant role in determining risk for stroke. HCPs recommend diets that are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and foods that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol, along with limited amounts of salt.

There is plenty of information available online for people with existing medical conditions who want to make important lifestyle changes. It seems that more and more people are seeking this information out to improve their general health and to prevent strokes.

2. Recognizing warning signs for the future 

A transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a mini-stroke may serve as a warning sign. Lasting only a few minutes, it is characterized by symptoms similar to a stroke with no permanent damage. Research suggests that 1 in 3 people who have suffered a TIA have a full stroke within a year[1]

Seeking urgent medical attention and evaluation is important after a TIA, in order to decrease the risk of subsequent strokes[2].

People’s growing interest in TIA symptoms suggests a more sophisticated understanding of strokes and an increasing vigilance around the condition.

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Search interest for “transient ischemic attack symptoms’ increased by 22% in the past 3 months, from June to August 2022

Search interest for ‘stroke symptoms in women’ increased by 22.22% in the last 3 months, from June to August 2022

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3. Women at risk for strokes

Research suggests that strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in women. One in five American women aged between 55 and 75 are likely to have a stroke[1]. Women in general are more susceptible to strokes, and the risk only increases with age. African American and Hispanic women in particular are at greater risk. 

These statistics strongly suggest a need for women to be aware of stroke’s risk factors, early warning signs and symptoms. Growing searches for topics related to strokes in women indicate that more people are aware of and acting on this imperative. 

4. Think ‘F.A.S.T’ as a response to stroke 

Among the number of screening tools developed to recognize strokes, the FAST (Face, Arm, Speech, Time) mnemonic adopted by the American Heart Association is one of the most popular. Research suggests that the FAST method identified 69% to 90% of strokes, but missed up to 40% of those with posterior circulation events[1]

HCPs use the FAST technique in awareness generation, directing people to pay attention to symptoms associated with strokes, and to call 911 immediately if they need help[2]

Increasing interest in the meaning of FAST in the context of stroke is an encouraging sign that more people are taking the risk of stroke seriously.

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Search interest for ‘fast in stroke stands for’  increased by  50% in the last 3 months, from June to August 2022

Stroke in Culture

The Culture Section highlights emerging cultural trends, new products, and notable dialogue about a variety of health conditions. The purpose of this section is to zoom in on what has been happening within the cultural and professional landscape of a particular health condition–stories that are often missed by quantitative searches.

By featuring influential social media items, patient discourse, professional dialogue, product innovations, and impactful news items, this section illuminates the lived experiences of many patients, while also providing a snapshot of the developments happening around them. 

Here, Quilt.AI offers a detailed and nuanced perspective of what is new and what is meaningful.

1. Recognizing a stroke

Healthcare professionals are keen on spreading information about identifying the early signs of stroke using social media platforms such as TikTok. HCPs focus on the fact that this condition is quite unpredictable and can happen to anyone.

They also emphasize the factors that can increase the risk of having a stroke, such as excessive drinking and smoking, out-of-control diabetes, etc.

This information is spread with generic information-sharing hashtags such as #fyp, coupled with condition-specific hashtags such as #stroke. 

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2. Alternative techniques to reverse stroke damage

There is a rich trove of TikTok content on the benefits of traditional or alternative treatments for people who have had a stroke.

In particular, people are talking about how acupressure, traditional massage and neurovascular tapping techniques have helped them or their loved ones reverse stroke-related damage.

3. Strength and support through online community

Stroke patients are sharing their journeys to recovery on social media. They encourage others not to lose hope, to keep their morale high, and to keep persevering through their journey to full recovery.

They also talk about products and services – such as stroke rehabilitation equipment – that have helped in their recovery. 

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@m3ganb3th Why was this was kept a secret for so long? 😤 #strokesurvivor #hemiparesis #motusnova #therapy ♬ original sound - tim_bae

4. Stroke vs. heart attack

Many people are unclear on the difference between a stroke and a heart attack. As a response to this, healthcare professionals are using social media to explain the similarities and differences between the two conditions.

They go through the terminology associated with the two conditions, and provide information on first-aid steps that should be taken when encountering them. Some healthcare experts also explain the different types of strokes and their treatment.

5. Treating and tweeting stroke

Conversations around stroke on Twitter are dominated by news on the development of new medications, and content from medical journals and institutions on the latest thinking on stroke treatment.

Stroke survivors also use the platform to share stories about their journeys to recovery, and the practice and perseverance needed to recover limb function.