Prevention of Stroke


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Prevention list: Methods of prevention of Stroke mentioned in various sources includes those listed below. This prevention information is gathered from various sources, and may be inaccurate or incomplete. None of these methods guarantee prevention of Stroke.

Prevention of Stroke: Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart's working capacity. 1

Folic acid is also important for women at every age, because it helps prevent heart disease and stroke. However, too much folic acid can mask the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, which affects one in five people ages 65 to 95 years. So, the recommended level of folic acid does not go above one mg per day. 2

The more stroke risk factors you have, the greater the chance that you will have a stroke. You can't control some risk factors, such as aging, family health history, race and gender. But you can change or treat most other risk factors to lower your risk.

Here are some of the best ways to prevent stroke:

  • Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Don't overeat, and keep your weight under control.

  • Get regular exercise (30 minutes a day, most days of the week, or more).

  • Find ways to manage stress in your life.

  • If you have high blood pressure, take your blood pressure medicine as prescribed by your health care provider.

  • If your cholesterol level is too high, talk to your health care provider about ways to lower it.

  • If you smoke, stop smoking. If it is hard to quit on your own, there are products like nicotine patches, support groups, and programs to help you stop smoking.

  • If you have heart disease or diabetes, take good care of yourself. See your health care provider and take your medicine as prescribed.

  • Get help if you have a TIA ("mini-stroke"). Talk to your health care provider to see if you need medicine or surgery.

  • Aspirin therapy may be useful, but check with your health care provider before starting to take aspirin on a daily basis.

3

You can reduce your stroke risk by taking the following steps:

  • Control your blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked often, and, if it is high, follow your doctor's advice on how to lower it. Treating high blood pressure reduces the risk for both stroke and heart disease.
4

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Physical Activity and Weight Control: NIDDK
2. excerpt from Folic Acid: NWHIC
3. excerpt from Stroke: NWHIC
4. excerpt from Stroke Prevention and Treatment - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: June 18, 2003

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