Prevention of Stroke

In 1998, National Stroke Association’s Prevention Advisory Board released its Stroke Prevention Guidelines. These guidelines are the first-ever set of recommendations established by a national expert consensus on what the public can do to prevent a stroke.

  1. Know your blood pressure. Have it checked at least annually. If it’s elevated, work with your doctor to keep it under control. Having high blood pressure, or hypertension, increases stroke risk four to six times.
  2. Find out if you have Atrial Fibrillation – a type of irregular heartbeat. If left untreated, AF can increase stroke risk four to six times.
  3. If you smoke, stop. Smoking doubles stroke risk.
  4. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Recent studies have suggested that modest alcohol consumption (up to two glasses of wine or the alcohol equivalent) may reduce stroke risk. If you don’t drink, don’t start.
  5. Find out if you have High Cholesterol. High cholesterol can indirectly increase stroke risk by putting people at greater risk of heart disease.
  6. If you’re diabetic, follow you doctor’s recommendation carefully, to control your diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher stroke risk. This may be related to circulation problems that diabetes can cause.
  7. Include exercise activities you enjoy in your daily routine. Active people tend to have lower cholesterol levels. Regular exercise also seems to slow down or stop clogging of blood vessels.
  8. Enjoy a low-sodium (salt), low-fat diet. Too much salt may contribute to high blood pressure and make it more difficult to control. A diet that is low in fat will likely include vegetables, lean meats such as chicken and fish, low-fat dairy products and a limited number of eggs.
  9. Ask your doctor if you have circulation problems which increase your risk for stroke.
  10. If you experience any stroke symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Get to the hospital fast or call 911. Every minute counts! Stroke is a Brain Attack!