Stroke Risk and Prevention
There are some things you can do to prevent strokes. Some risk factors are controllable, and others are not. It is important to understand your personal risk factors for stroke.
Uncontrollable Risk Factors
Some risk factors for stroke are not controllable. Even if you cannot control them, knowing what they are is important in determining your risk for stroke.
- Family history
- Prior stroke, TIA or heart attack
Controllable Risk Factors
These are controllable factors. If lifestyle changes are made, a person’s risk of stroke can be reduced. Talk to your provider about your risk factors for stroke.
- High blood pressure
- Cigarette smoking
- Carotid or other artery disease
- High blood cholesterol
- Sickle cell disease
- Poor diet
- Peripheral artery disease
- Atrial fibrillation
- Physical inactivity and obesity
- Other heart disease
Stroke Prevention Checklist
Know your blood pressure.
Have it checked at least annually. If it is elevated, work with your doctor to control it.
Check for irregular heartbeat.
Find out if you have atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. Follow up with your provider to manage irregular heartbeat.
Know your cholesterol level.
If you have high cholesterol, diet and exercise can help to lower it. You can also speak to your provider about other methods to control it.
Control your diabetes.
If you are diabetic, follow your doctor’s recommendations carefully to control your diabetes.
Participate in annual health screenings and speak to your provider about minimizing your risk factors.
Stay active & well-rested.
Stay active and aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days to maintain a healthy weight. Make sure you get rest and manage sleep apnea.
Have a healthy diet.
Eat a healthy diet that is low calorie and limits cholesterol, salt, saturated and trans fats. Control alcohol use and drink in moderation.
If you smoke, stop.