What can I do to reduce my risk of stroke?
Your risk of having a stroke (or another stroke) is higher if you are older, if you smoke cigarettes or if you drink a lot of alcohol. The risk is also increased if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or are obese. Your risk is also increased if you have heart failure or a transient ischemic attack (sometimes called a TIA or a mini-stroke).
Ways to reduce your risk of having another stroke:
- Have regular check-ups. Your doctor can work with you to improve your health.
- If you are a smoker, stop smoking.
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Control your cholesterol levels
- If you have diabetes, control your blood sugar level.
- Enjoy regular physical activity.
Ask your doctor for advice on making these lifestyle changes, and ask friends and family for support. Regular checkups are important to find problems that can increase your risk of having a stroke. Talk to your doctor about whether taking aspirin in low doses would help reduce your risk of stroke or TIA. Aspirin can help keep your blood from forming clots that can eventually block the arteries.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff