A stroke can happen to anyone but certain risk factors can increase your chances of getting one. It has been proved by studies that up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable. You can work with your healthcare professional to reduce the personal risk of getting a stroke.
National Stroke Association's Stroke Prevention Advisory Board, an elite group of USA’s leading experts on stroke prevention, established the first Stroke Prevention Guidelines. Follow these guidelines to protect yourself against getting a stroke, starting today.
High blood pressure is a major stroke risk factor if left untreated. Have blood pressure checked yearly by a doctor or at health fairs, a local pharmacy or supermarket or with an automatic blood pressure machine.
Afib is an abnormal heartbeat that can increase stroke risk by 500%. Afib can cause blood to pool in the heart and may form a clot and cause stroke. A doctor must diagnose and treat Afib.
Smoking doubles the risk of stroke. It damages blood vessel walls, speeds up artery clogging, raises blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.
Alcohol use has been linked to stroke in many studies. Most doctors recommend not drinking or drinking only in moderation - no more than two drinks each day.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance in blood that is made by the body. It also comes in food. High cholesterol levels can clog arteries and cause stroke. See a doctor if your total cholesterol level is more than 200.
Many people with diabetes have health problems that are also risk factors for stroke. A doctor and dietician can help manage diabetes.
Excessive weight gain strains the circulatory system. Your goal should be to keep your body mass index (BMI) at 25 or less.
Exercise also contributes to losing weight and lowering blood pressure, but it also stands on its own as an independent stroke reducer. A 2012 study found that women who walked three hours a week were less likely to have stroke than women who didn't walk.
To prevent stroke, one must also treat their circulation problems, if they have any. Fatty deposits can block arteries carrying blood to the brain and lead to stroke. Other problems such as sickle cell disease or severe anaemia should also be treated.
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