What can I do to reduce my risk of having a stroke?
Ways you can reduce your risk of having a stroke (or another stroke) include the following:
- 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.
- Get regular physical activity.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
You should have regular checkups so that your doctor can help you manage health conditions that increase your risk of having a stroke (for example, high blood pressure). Ask your doctor for advice on making lifestyle changes to decrease your risk of stroke. Support from family members and friends can also help you make these changes.
Talk to your doctor about whether taking aspirin in low doses would help reduce your risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack. Aspirin can help keep your blood from forming clots that block your arteries. If taking low-dose aspirin is right for you, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions so that you get the most benefit with the fewest side effects.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff